Interning abroad is a great way to A) learn about a host country’s business culture; B) bring a global perspective to your future career pursuits; C) make your resume stand out from the crowd; D) achieve all of the above.
The answer is a resounding “achieve all of the above—and then some,” according to recent international interns Garrett Vangelisti ‘13 and Tenzing Atsentsang ’14.
Business major Vangelisti chose to expand his Spanish minor into full major status by spending his final school term in Seville, Spain, last fall.
While studying at the University of Seville, Vangelisti landed a competitive internship at Telefónica, the broadband and telecommunications provider that is the world's fifth-largest mobile network.
His primary focus was to develop a new set of metrics to measure the company’s key performance indicators.
“I worked with Telefónica colleagues from many different divisions and countries throughout Europe to assess shifts in the market, such as changes in consumer preferences, competitors’ new product offerings, and advances in technology,” said Vangelisti.
At the end of his time at Telefónica, Vangelisti traveled to Madrid, Spain, to present his findings to the company’s top management.
For Vangelisti, the experience was eye opening to say the least.
“Working in a foreign country teaches you many alternative forms of problem solving, leadership, and social mores,” said Vangelisti. “It was amazing to see how customer preferences and industry regulations varied from country to country and ultimately affected how the company goes to market.”
Likewise, fellow business major Atsentsang began his international exploration in Mumbai, India, where he spent the fall enrolled in the elite Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research.
After the term wrapped up, Atsentsang traveled to Gangtok, capital of the Indian state of Sikkim. There, he is currently interning as a junior accountant at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT), a cultural institution that houses a library and museum.
Atsentsang’s duties at NIT include maintaining financial records for the organization and providing financial status information by preparing special reports and completing special projects for NIT’s directors.
Learning to “think differently and take different approaches to finding solutions to business-related problems” has been one of Atsentsang’s crucial takeaways from the experience.
What advice do the two have for others considering international internships?
“Go for it!” said Atsentsang. “Hearing or reading about something is nowhere near experiencing it firsthand.”
“Do it! Don’t let reservations about the language barrier or qualifications keep you from this great experience,” said Vangelisti. “Preparation, etiquette, and confidence go a long way.”
Read blog posts from Vangelisti and Atsentsang.