When I was an extern with Barry-Callabaut through the Honors Program, I was able to meeting and network with many professionals who work in international business. Throughout the course of the week I was able to have multiple informational interviews with people to learn more about their careers and how they got there. The most memorable interview I had was with a VP of the company. He gave me great advice for how to continue as a newcomer to the market place and what style of education to pursue. He told me that if I stayed the course with what I was doing, I would do great. He also cautioned against immediately getting an MBA because in the business world, experience is valued more than higher education.
What are some of the skills you have obtained thus far that will prepare you for internships or for work in a professional environment? What skills to you intend on strengthening? How have you utilized these skills thus far in academia and professional settings?
I have obtained great people skills from my extensive travels and from my experiences here at NIU. I am able to communicate comfortably and clearly in a wide variety of social settings and across multiple languages. With these skills I will be able to thrive in an international business internship as communication and cultural understanding are critical. When working in a professional environment, a person must be sensitive enough to pick up on social clues but also confident enough to make you opinions heard in a respectful manner. Fortunately, I have had extensive experience in both of these areas by studying abroad and also interacting with alumni and student groups here on campus.
I would like to strengthen my oratory abilities so that I feel more at ease when giving presentations and during meetings. I will work towards this goal by presenting research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research this upcoming April. I have used all the aforementioned skills here at NIU in running the Southeast Asia Club as its president, making presentations on a wide variety of topics in classes, welcomed international students to NIU, and lastly through my study abroad experiences with the university.