This is it. The end of the line. Well, not literally of course, but it certainly feels like it! The end of not only an eventful semester, but of an incredible experience remarkable in its own way. Before my remote global internship began, I was unsure of what to expect from working with an overseas company. I was unsure of how I would adjust to the time differences, how productive I could be remotely, or, most importantly, how I would adapt to the cultural differences between myself and my company. After spending close to three months with Homeless Entrepreneur, I can remark on my experiences and how those initial expectations gradually changed as I grew more experienced in my role and more accustomed to the complications between where, and when, I worked.
For starters, working remotely is a challenge in its own right, a beast I tackled during my initial internship blog post (check it out!). But after you grow accustomed to those challenges, your work becomes just that; work. I could focus on my tasks without feeling lost or disconnected from my team, and I knew the proper channels of communication to use if and when I had problems. As a Global Management major, I was curious if what I’ve learned so far in the classroom, if anything, would transfer to my new position, to which I can say, yes! By and large International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior hit every point on what to expect from working internationally, and how to prepare oneself for that type of role. Our discussions of managing expatriate assignments as well as how to curb social loafing between international teams were especially useful insights for me.
On the flip side, I can bring what I’ve learned from the real world back to the classroom. My project coordination and time management soft skills were especially impacted by the work done through CAPA’s internship class, and through building a social network over Twitter I greatly improved my communication and networking skills, which I intend to use during every group project to keep us organized and on time.
The biggest skill coming out of this experience, however, was learning how to read people. Not every donor is the same, just like not every person is either. In order to create strong relationships that moved people to be willing to donate, I needed to know who they were and what they cared about. Not just that, but how I could make their goals align with my own, even when they seemed entirely unrelated. Knowing how to research and communicate with your target audience is an incredibly useful skill that is applicable in every facet of business.
In the end, I can say that the best reward resulting from this internship was the relationships I was able to foster both with the people I met through CAPA and the members of my team at Homeless Entrepreneur. The skills and experiences I gained will be invaluable in allowing me to pursue my future career goals, however it is the people I meet along the way that will get me there.