There is no substitute for the experience gained when working in a foreign country amongst the local people. Why is it, one may ask, that only when leaving their home country they are able to gain invaluable knowledge about themselves and the world that they work in that is otherwise unattainable in their pervious situation? When working abroad one gains an understanding of cross-cultural communication and collaboration skills allowing for maximum cultivation of new innovations, otherwise not inherent to our congenital outlook. In other words, by working in a foreign environment one will learn a fresh new way of thinking that will not replace the old way yet, add insights from a different perspective.
As the Marketing intern at the Sant’Anna Institute I am entrusted with many duties including management of Sant’Anna’s social media platforms, blog, content creation, and the presentation/execution of new marketing & growth strategies. All of the skills I have developed performing these tasks are accompanied by the additional proficiency of collaboration amongst a new culture and language. When encountering these differences it is crucial to be unbiased. The only way to overcome ethnocentrism is by keeping an open mind and displaying a genuine eagerness to learn.
When will this help me in the future? What if I want to work in my home country for the rest of my life? These are some of the common objections to an opportunity abroad. To these people I beg to ask, will you ever work for a multinational company, where many of the employees are from many different cultural backgrounds? The benefits do not end at the workplace however, being from the U.S. there are many people who I interact with on a daily basis, in my community, that are of varied ethnicities. This short time in Sorrento has opened up my eyes to a side of the world I would have otherwise never understood, making me a more educated and well-rounded global citizen.
Although, I am a college student working an internship the benefits are one in the same. During my semester abroad I have traveled from the U.S. to Southern Italy in order to further my understanding of other cultures, not only in the work place but in the community as well. While living and working in Sorrento for the four months of fall semester, I have had many responsibilities to balance and obstacles to overcome that will aid me in developing as a student, employee, and global citizen. These benefits along with the wealth of connections from community leaders, business owners, and the local families will be a priceless addition to my resume and personal network.