GLOBAL EXPERIENCES

By Forrest Rhinehart, communication and international studies major and CEA Senior Alumni Ambassador

This past summer, Jonathan Bown, a U student completing a dual bachelor’s and master’s degree program in statistics, decided to take his learning experiences out of the classroom and into an international setting. Bown participated in a global internship program through CAPA, one of Learning Abroad’s approved affiliate program providers.

Apart from building his resume and gaining practical job skills, he was able to enhance his ability for cross-cultural communication and creativity while interning with the London-based Perfect Storm Media. Below, Bown spoke in more detail about his unique internship.

Do you think your internship program abroad was worth it? Would you recommend this to another student?   

I would highly recommend this to any student. The program provider, CAPA, had students from all kinds of majors interning in London while I was there and we were each given opportunities specific to what we wanted to work on.

What skills did you gain from your internship abroad and how do you think these skills will help prepare you for your future career? 

I was able to complete all of the Google AdWords/Analytics certifications as well as complete a statistics project. The project required a lot of trial and error. I worked directly with the CEO of Perfect Storm Media and acted as a statistical consultant. This gave me the opportunity to present complex information in an understandable way. As a future statistician, preparing reports and explaining things in a simple way is crucial to a successful career.

What was the most memorable moment from your internship abroad?

On the last day of my internship, I presented what I thought was possibly another failed method to solve the conversion rate problem. However, as I went through the numbers, the CEO nodded his head and said “I think you’ve really got something here.” Having my work validated by the CEO made me feel like I had made a valuable contribution. We had lunch together later on and talked about the possibility of me continuing as a consultant while I finished my master’s degree at the U. It was an amazing experience to have all that work pay off and turn into future work opportunity. 

What influenced you to choose this program?                                                                  

When I attended the Global U Expo last fall I was looking for a program that offered some kind of work experience or internship for the upcoming summer semester. Most of the people I talked to didn’t have ideas of what kind of internship a math/statistics major would need. However, when I talked to the representative from CAPA, he felt confident that the the program could provide a valuable internship experience. I chose London primarily because that’s where I wanted to go, but also because other students with my background had worked on successful projects there in the past.

Did you receive any kind scholarships or financial aid toward your program?                                                   

Yes, I was awarded a scholarship from the Learning Abroad office. It didn’t cover the whole program but it helped out a lot.

What would you say to students who are on the fence about completing an internship abroad or another type of study abroad program?                                                                               

Make sure you know what you want to get out of the program. I knew exactly what I was looking for and it took some time before I found the right program. I also talked to my advisor and a few professors in the Math Department to get their opinions before committing to the program. Lastly, don’t shy away from the uncertainty of the application process. It took me four months to complete the process and give CAPA all the necessary documents. I didn’t know what exactly my internship would be until two weeks before departure. If you want a valuable experience, you need to jump in and take the risk.

Whether you are interested in studying or interning abroad, check out the Global U Expo on Sept. 20 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Union Ballroom. At the Expo, you will have the opportunity to speak with program leaders, program providers and returned students. You will also have the opportunity to enter into a drawing for prizes, including a Learning Abroad scholarship. For more information, visit Learning Abroad online, stop by Union 159, call 801-581-5849 or send an email.

Learning Abroad provides engaging international experiences that complement your academic, professional and personal goals. Students from any major can choose from more than 500 programs in 50 countries that offer language immersion, career development, community engagement and research opportunities. With more than $200,000 in scholarships awarded annually and programs that cost less or equal to a semester at the U, Learning Abroad is practical and affordable.