By Munira Shehabi
As a student in college, choosing to work abroad is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. As a college junior I had the privilege of working at three different companies all in different locations.
Working overseas has really opened my eyes to a whole different world, and allowed me to look at society through a different lens. No longer am I the tourist snapping pictures here and there, but I get to interact with the people of country on a whole new level. The experience that I cherished the most was being exposed to a new culture. Learning the language, food staples, and lifestyle just helped me feel at home instead of an outsider visiting for a few days.
Internships are crucial for success for graduates when it comes to looking for jobs, as it lets the company know that you have experience and knowledge in the field of business. One of the greatest benefits for working abroad is getting hands on learning experience. This was the most satisfying part for me as I was able to use all the information I learnt at my internship and apply it to my classes at college.
At 20 years old, I can proudly say that I worked at beautiful cities such as Dubai, Milan, and Los Angeles. Each of these cities provided me with a different experience both in the work environment and outside environment. Living, as an independent student was hard at first, as I had to find my own place to stay, figure out transportation, and find the local convenient stores. However, with prior research and contacting people from my internship has been an asset as they assisted me with all I needed.
When I first graduated college and decided to pursue a degree in communications, I never knew what I wanted to do in the future, and graduating from college actually scared me. However, once I got my first internship in Dubai at a Media company, it helped me realize that this is exactly what I want to do in the future. I then started taking more classes that is tailored to what specific direction in the communications field that I want.
By the time I got my second internship in Milan, I was already working in the communications department of an international media company. By then I realized that I needed to take a few business classes as business comes in handy when in the communications field. One I got back to school, I added business as my minor, and I then started understand more of the background of the communications field.
My third internship at a fashion company based in Los Angeles I knew exactly what I specifically wanted to do, and informed my boss, who them tailored a summer internship that was specific to my desires. I was able to further enhance my skills both written and verbally, and at the same time received feedback on how to improve all my skills.
Living alone, in a foreign country has really helped make me a better person. I grew up, and became a more mature well-adapted person. I learnt how to stray away from my comfort zone and learnt how to push my boundaries and speak my mind with more confidence
Working abroad has been the greatest experience of my life, and is something I want to continue pursuing. As an avid traveller, I found working abroad to be an exciting way to experience the cities differently as I was allowed a different perspective of the lifestyle. I was able to meet people from different cultures who helped me adapt to my new environment and made me feel welcome. My experiences also helped me realize that I wanted to work for a big international company in the future in order for me to be able to travel to all the countries that I want to see.
In short, working abroad is all about gaining experiences in a different situation that allows one to learn about a place and its people. One will then be able to obtain valuable knowledge about the process of working.