Studying abroad is a special experience for everyone. Each person partakes in this crazy adventure in a different way, and some students decide to take their time abroad one step further and choose to participate in an internship. This opportunity enhances the study abroad experience in more ways than one. Michael Malone is a student in Rome who decided to take advantage of this great opportunity.
Michael is currently a junior at the University of Alabama who is participating in the CEA business and internship program in Rome.
“I wanted to do an internship abroad to experience the work culture in Italy, especially in a big city like Rome,” Michael said. Interning abroad has allowed him to experience truly living like a local, by studying, going to work and living in Rome. Deciding to intern abroad is quite the undertaking on top of choosing to study abroad; not only did Michael have to adjust for his study abroad experience -- he had to figure out how to embark on an internship abroad.
The placement process at CEA is set up for the student to succeed as they supplement the applicant with many tools to prepare the student for the interview process.
“I learned how to fully prepare myself for a job interview through the process with CEA,” he added. Michael worked closely with CEA internship advisor, Sadi, and internship coordinator, Chiara, so he was not on his own. He participated in three different interviews -- and the first two were used to establish a relationship with his internship advisor and internship coordinator. He then had an interview with the CEO of Bizplace Holding, an Italian startup.
“The interview with Federico was casual and he just wanted to know why I wanted to come to Rome and if I was interested in technology and startups,” Michael said. “At the end of that call, Federico welcomed me to the Bizplace team.”
It was an exciting moment for Michael, but he also had some concerns.
“I was worried that communicating with my coworkers would be hard because I didn’t know how to speak any Italian,” he added. This ended up not being an issue for Michael, since almost all of his coworkers are fluent in English.
Being involved in an internship abroad has given him the opportunities and experience with which he feels confident going back to the States.
“This experience has allowed me to learn about possible career paths in the financial field,” he said. “This internship has been a great learning experience that has made me grow professionally and culturally.”
If you’re looking to grow in more ways than one, an internship abroad is an excellent way to do it. Being able to learn about another culture in different ways is a valuable learning curve that you won’t be able to replicate in another situation.
“The experience of interning abroad will encourage a lot of personal growth,” Michael added. “This is definitely more than just a resume builder.”
Megan Reid is the Spring 2019 CEA MOJO Blogger in Rome, Italy, and is currently studying at University of Alabama.