As I enter my senior year of undergrad, I can’t help but reflect on how much I’ve changed, learned, and grown since I graduated high school. It’s safe to say that my summer abroad has made the greatest impact on who I am today.
Being abroad has taught me more about the world around me than a classroom or textbook ever could. It’s one thing to visit a foreign country, but it’s a completely different thing to live in it. You can’t fully immerse yourself in another culture without living it.
From working and traveling in Asia, I’ve learned so much about the region my parents call home. I discovered where the customs and traditions my parents raised me on came from, as well as how they came to be. I had a better grasp on why certain economies are the way they currently are. In southeast Asia, the only developed countries are Singapore and Hong Kong. When I visited Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Thailand, the differences between a developing and a developed nation became extremely evident. The less developed states often lacked what we would consider basic essentials. For instance, when I was in Bali, I was shocked to find no lanes on the roads and no address numbers on the buildings. Navigating became a little difficult, especially since I didn’t purchase a SIM card for the weekend trip.
But enough about my adventures; I’ve learned more from my internship than I could have hoped to gain. I got to experience the highs and the lows of entrepreneurship second hand. That basically sums it up, right?
I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to intern at Covetella. There are a million pros to the internship, but what really drew me in was the founder. When I was preparing for my interview with her, I did some research on her and quickly realized that I really admired her. Her long list of accomplishments and unique character made me want to make her my mentor. She has taught me so much about business, networking, and life in general, and I don’t think I could ever thank her enough.
Being abroad on my own has taught me so much more about myself. I grew up pretty independent, but this experience has given me the affirmation that I’m ready to begin a life and career of my own. From all the places I’ve been and all of the people I’ve met, I’ve realized that I could easily move almost anywhere in the world and be okay.