Name: Julia Ngo
Internship Site: Prague, Czech Republic
Internship Term: Summer 2019
Home University: University of Oklahoma
Major(s): Entrepreneurship and International Business, Minor in Nonprofit
Year in School: Senior
What did you do for your internship?
I was a Marketing Intern for two small start-ups, a bistro and a wine bar, owned by the same owner. I strategized and established a marketing, social media management, business development, and community building plan for both of the start-ups, with a majority of my focus on the bistro. I also documented trials and errors of strategy attempts with a focus on effectively passing on the responsibilities at the end of the internship. I did all this while adapting to a new cultural environment in both the workplace and city.
What was your typical day like in your internship abroad?
Since I worked at a start-up, my typical work day was pretty chill. I was the only intern, so I was able to choose my own hours and come in whenever I wanted. A downside was since both businesses were food-related, there was no real office I could work from, so I would just work at a table in the restaurant. It was mainly a lot of research and reaching out to other local businesses and companies to get our name out there and create a relationship with them.
What is the most important thing you have learned?
The most important thing I’ve learned is cross-cultural competency.
What kind of exposure to the local culture have you get as an intern that you would not have gotten as a traditional study abroad student?
I had to adapt to a completely new work and cultural environment.
Would you encourage other students with your major to intern abroad with CEA? What advice would you give them?
I would definitely encourage other students majoring in either of my majors to intern abroad with CEA. For the Entrepreneurship major, it can be difficult to find an internship with a start-up that relates to the kind of business you want to start yourself. CEA was able to find and match me with a food-related start-up, because I want to open up my own café in the future. As for International Business, any internship abroad is great experience for someone to test the waters of business abroad.
If I had to give another student any advice on interning abroad, I would just say to go for it and give it your all. Some things may not be exactly how you envisioned them to be, but that’s all part of the experience. Complaining or wishing it were different won’t do anything, so make the best of your situation and take it all in.
Julia Ngo is a CEA alumna who interned abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, during Summer 2019. She is currently a student at the University of Oklahoma.