Intern Spotlight: From Study Abroad to Internship, and Beyond

internship spotlight from study abroad to internship and beyond
Jenny at Fuente de Cibeles. Madrid, Spain. 2018.

From study abroad to internship, my experience amidst a pandemic has been unexpected, to say the least! Getting an internship under normal circumstances is difficult enough for college students. During this pandemic, I was pretty convinced that an internship for a study abroad company, nonetheless, was hopeless. Even my own study abroad program this past summer was canceled due to COVID-19. As a senior at CSU Long Beach, my aspirations to live and work abroad after graduation seemed dim.

My study abroad story…

In a nutshell, my name is Jenny, I’m an International Business major at CSULB, and I am currently the Marketing Intern at the Adelante Abroad home office. I love traveling (under a budget), thrift shopping, and learning Spanish. That said, the biggest turning point in my college life has been by far studying abroad in Madrid, Spain in Fall 2018. At the time, I was still at a community college, but I knew that there was more to the world beyond my quiet town.

Long story short, I was in love with Madrid, and my experience studying there completely fixated my career goals. I transferred to CSULB in 2019 and put myself in anything with “international” in the title (including my major). First, I hosted a German exchange student as part of an international research workshop and, while in the end our trip was canceled, I was looking forward to going to Germany for my part of the exchange. Second, I saved almost all my money for going abroad over the holidays and for post-graduation. It’s almost sad how little I travel now just within the States. Third, I have committed myself to be bilingual; I mainly practice Spanish through language exchanges and intensive lessons. Hopefully, by the end of this pandemic, I’ll have reached my fluency goal and returned to Spain to test it.

 

streets of madrid, spain while studying abroad

What’s really happening with study abroad now?

Okay, so my goal to work abroad after graduation isn’t so dim after all. Now that I am the new Marketing Intern for the Adelante Abroad HQ in Seal Beach, I’ve realized that the study abroad industry wasn’t completely cancelled. It’s the small and growing study abroad companies that are actually thriving in 2020 (we all know how that’s going) and a pandemic. This was a major loophole that even I didn’t think to consider: with classes fully online, why not study or intern in another country at the same time?

College seniors especially think they are missing their chance to study abroad before graduating. They are instead stuck at home without a job or internship to show for themselves. I was one of them. While I’m not currently interning abroad, many of Adelante’s candidates are. Working for a study abroad program has been my end-goal ever since my time in Spain. I’ll be going to Adelante to help me with my next internship too – this time abroad. 

view of buildings in Madrid from study abroad experience

A future with study abroad!

To put it lightly, when people say that studying or living abroad is life-changing, they’re not kidding. My advice for interested or future study abroad travelers is to take every chance you can afford to do something extraordinary and bold. Going abroad can seem really daunting at first, but you’ll learn that the right program will help you at every step of the way. Who knows where your ‘yes’ will bring you next! Mine brought me to life-long friendships, an exciting career path, and a mountain of possibilities yet to come!

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