When and where did you study away?
Dublin, Ireland – Spring 2017
What was your program like?
At the time, Klein GO students attended Dublin Business School which was located in the heart of the city. In fact, I walked through Temple Bar area every day to my classes. I spent par of the week interning for a local Irish company in their digital marketing department. Less than a few weeks in, I felt woven into the fabric of the city, constantly learning more about the nooks and crannies and COFFEE throughout Dublin. As an American, I was the minority in my classes which largely made up of a combination of German, French, Austrian, and Irish students. It was incredible learning from the perspectives of the various cultures. Only a handful of girls from Temple attended and not having known anyone prior to leaving, we quickly formed bonds that could only come from experiencing study abroad together. The cultural experience I had in Dublin was warm, welcoming, and full of liveliness. I gained an intense appreciation for their rich history and the different ways the country honored their roots, one way being the use of the Irish language throughout the country.
Has studying abroad helped you in your professional life? Your personal life?
My study abroad experience helps me every single day of life. It served as an incredible opportunity to grow in cultural intelligence, in storytelling, and in listening. These things all translate to growth in success and confidence in both and professional and personal life.
Are there lessons you’d consider invaluable from your experience?
Leaving the country at a young age is what I consider most invaluable because the discovery of ways of life outside of your own is priceless (and so important).
How has your experience guided your career path?
Love this question, because my study abroad experience was completely and totally foundational in my career path. After returning from Dublin, I was determined to help other students have experiences like I had the opportunity to have. I became a peer advisor and set my sights on the travel and tourism industry. My experience interning in Dublin helped me to land a second internship with Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management where I am now completing a Master of Science in Travel & Tourism.
Where are you now? What do you do?
I will be graduating with my MS in Travel and Tourism in December of this year. Currently, I am a graduate extern in the marketing department for STHM where I largely run their social media channels and campaigns. I also intern (as a part of the MS program) for the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, the destination marketing organization for Montgomery County, PA. After graduating and wrapping up my internships, I plan to continue to work in destination marketing with a focus on either bringing in international travelers/business or social media marketing.
How do you feel studying away helped you get there (if at all)?
I believe studying abroad gave me the tools to feel confident pursuing a career in global society. It is always a topic of interest to people in interviews and has allowed me to connect with employers in authentic ways, often sparing great conversation. Studying abroad made me curious and determined to chase my goals, both of which have helped me arrive where I am.
Advice to current students studying away and/or prospective students considering doing so?
If financially possible, I advise students to spend an entire semester abroad. There is so much you learn when you enter a routine in another culture. Life will be there when you get back, but you will return more confident, more in love with life, and with a serious case of the travel bug. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and engage with local people, because they are the ones who you will learn the most from.
If you’d like to learn more about why Geena studied abroad in the first place and read about her travels, feel free to check out her blog!