Senior Co-op: Why I am Interning Abroad
posted by Sabrina Sunde
As a senior I will be entering my co-op semester five weeks from now interning with Fota Island Resort in Cork, Ireland. While co-op semester is challenging on its own, going abroad will make it unique. I am writing a few blogs in the hopes of helping those who find themselves in a similar situation, or who are considering going abroad for their co-op semester.
For me, managing regret and preventing regret is important. I used to say "no" to a lot of things and I was plagued by regrets in my final years of high school for that reason.
After graduation I told myself to make big plans, to shoot for something amazing, because I wouldn’t regret doing so. When I started making my plans to transfer schools, studying abroad was an important consideration for me.
So when the college application letters came in and I was left with four acceptances, study abroad programs were one of my deciding factors. I chose LIM College, obviously. It's no great mystery.
What came as a surprise was when, two months before beginning my first semester, I was told studying abroad wouldn’t fit into my graduation timeline. I am a transfer student with limited funds, eager to graduate and my credits didn’t place me favorably for a foreign university. I was devastated.
In the same breath I was being told study abroad wouldn’t work out, I asked a question: Do your students intern abroad? LIM College curriculum is built around internships and professional experiences, so this question didn’t feel like a stretch. The answer: They do, but it seemed to be a rare occurrence.
This meant that from day one at the college I was telling people I wanted to intern abroad. I told students, professors, staff members, supervisors...you get the picture. The advice I have for interning abroad follows:
Tell people: You never know who has a story or opportunity.
Plan ahead: Think like you will be going abroad and plan accordingly.
Solidify your dream: Think about what you want from the experience and shoot for an internship that can give you that.
Batten down the hatches: Going abroad is not easy and you will get thrown curve balls. BUT: You can handle it and it’s a challenge worth facing.
I cannot tell you exactly how this experience will help me, but I have a few expectations. Our world, and business in general, is increasingly connected and international. Interning abroad shows a commitment to being a part of this international growth and an excitement for learning more about it.
When someone looks at my resume and asks me about this experience, I can talk about how I’ve grown personally and what I’ve learned professionally. I will be able to tell them I have no regrets.