This past spring semester, I studied abroad in Ireland for four months. While in Europe, I travelled to several cities and countries outside of Ireland. Some of my favorite experiences were watching the Broadway show Wicked in London, going on a 12-hour tour of the lochs and highlands of Scotland, eating an elegant dinner inside of the Eiffel Tower with my travel buddy, seeing the Vatican City in Rome and going on a cruise in Greece.
Then less than a week after I returned to the United States, I began my internship at Lawrence & Schiller.
Needless to say, I had just enough time to enjoy a few days at home and bounce back from the jet lag before jumping right into what L&S had in store for me. Since my arrival at the office, however, I couldn’t help but observe some similarities between studying abroad and being an L&S intern.
Here are the top four takeaways I’ve observed so far:
1. Networking isn't just for work.
I didn’t know a single person when I left for Ireland; then, after four months, I returned to the States with friends from all over the country. When I started at L&S, I only knew a few people who had attended college with me. Now, I have made connections on a personal level with co-workers of all ages that will last even when my internship is complete.
2. Research is crucial to more than writing papers.
In order to build all of the itineraries for weekends in foreign countries, I had to research extensively about flight prices, hostel/AirBnb prices and locations, sights to see, transportation methods and prices, etc. As the Consumer Insights intern, I do similar extensive research on trends related to my clients, their competitors, previous research on similar material, as well as perform my own data analysis and more.
3. A little bit of gratitude can go a long way.
Thank you. Gracias. Merci. Grazie. Danke schön. Děkuji. No matter how I said it (or attempted to pronounce it), a simple “thanks” can mean a lot to someone—whether it was a waitress bringing me a heaping plate of Italian spaghetti or my colleagues offering tips and pointers on how to be a successful intern.
4. Every day is an adventure.
Whether I was exploring a new city or now starting a new project, I have learned that no two days are the same—and that’s what makes studying abroad and this internship so worthwhile.