Written by Taylor Eilers (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Student Correspondent for CET Prague, Fall 2019
As the semester comes to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect upon my internship experience. First off, I chose to do an internship for two reasons. First, it directly corresponded to my career goals. I would like to work internationally as soon as I can. However, I know that it is difficult so I thought that the previous work experience would give me a leg up after I graduated. Second, I wanted to be able to feel as though I was immersing myself in Czech culture and gaining experience as best as I could, because it’s really hard when almost all other aspects of the study abroad are with the other American students.
I had two wonderful and friendly supervisors. I greatly appreciated how they made me feel comfortable and a part of the team. As an intern for the trade team, I was able to play a role in the facilitation of Trade Shows and connecting British producers with Czech buyers. Through this position, I felt as though I added value to the company. It was an honor to be able to represent the organization at a trade show.
Having an internship abroad was both very rewarding as well as challenging. Time management was by far the biggest nuisance. I wasn’t able to go out during the week and there was more pressure to get my homework done during the weekend. That being said, I rarely felt overly burdened and I still had plenty of time for fun and weekend travel. Overall, the benefits by far outweighed the challenges. I was able to expand my professional network through LinkedIn as well as create projects that I can use for future examples and interviews. I achieved a deeper cultural immersion by spending time with my coworkers and I was able to connect the cultural education I was receiving about the Czech Republic with my internship experiences to unveil cultural differences and similarities that I would not have otherwise noticed. I’m honestly so grateful for the opportunity and (humbly) proud that I took it and made the best of the experience because it greatly enhanced my study abroad experience.
The photos used for this post are from the BCC website.