When individuals state that studying abroad is a transformative experience that alters one’s perspective, believe them. Prior to my semester abroad, I expected to solely transform my personal and social environment. Yet, the opportunity to intern abroad at Spotify Outreach Company in the United Kingdom shifted my perspective of the workforce, specifically on how to conduct myself in strenuous circumstances. Although cultural differences may contribute to barriers in the workplace, interning abroad ensures that individuals gain the confidence to deepen their intellectual and social backgrounds in specific fields.

While interning abroad, there is a possibility of experiencing varying expectations in the workforce. Specifically, managers who reside outside of the United States may perceive tasks as uncomplicated, and therefore fail to provide specific details on the process. The lack of proper communication often results in missing key elements in the final product. Yet, rather than encouraging the final product to be re-evaluated, managers may express discouraging ideas, leading to tension in the workplace. In order to avoid such a conflict, I found it helpful to discuss my tasks with my coworkers as well as other individuals who collaborated with my manager. I found it helpful to speak to my coworkers rather than directly speaking to my manager due to the fact that I strived to showcase that I am an independent employee. In the United Kingdom, independence is appreciated in the workforce, and I quickly realized that in order to successfully accomplish my tasks to please my manager, I had to utilize the resources I had available to me. Thus, interning abroad taught me the importance of expressing my ideas and concerns to individuals in a similar environment and circumstance as me, in order to obtain knowledge and advice that is often neglected in the workplace.

The experiences and knowledge gained by interning abroad can be utilized as well as further explored in the United States. Although the United States’ work environment differs from the United Kingdom, I realized that I developed into a well-rounded employee as a result of gaining a divergent background in Marketing in the U.K. The variation of ideas, as well as integrating them into a concrete plan, are often guided by managers in an internship position. However, in the U.K, I had to adapt my method of gathering information to account for the lack of guidance on projects. I developed a skill set that revolved around distinguishing effective and efficient ways to conduct research and communicate my findings, which translated to versatile solutions for my projects. Hence, the freedom granted to me translated to my deeper understanding of how to craft compelling marketing strategies. In coordination with my newly developed skillset, I will be able to maximize my potential in the United States during my Summer internship at Jefferies. Although Marketing and Investment Banking are not closely related, my internship abroad provided me with the confidence necessary to adapt to divergent work environments. Thus, I obtained the assurance that will allow me to prosper in various conditions.

Studying abroad provides students with the opportunity to flourish in unfamiliar settings. Taking a further step and challenging one’s academic abilities transforms the entire experience. Hence, I suggest that UC Berkeley students utilize their resources, and seek an internship abroad.

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