How My Business Organizations Have Helped Me Abroad

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As most of you know, I am a Business Management major at Northern Arizona University, and I am also in the process of gaining two Business Certificates in International Business and in Marketing alongside my Bachelor’s degree. My ultimate goal, however, is to specialize in Human Resources. Due to business being such a passion of mine, as you all can see by my fields of study, I joined three specific business clubs within my high school career and my college one. I am part of DECA, Future Business Leaders of America, and American Marketing Association. I have been part of FBLA for the longest though, with 6 years and counting. Most of my confidence and communication skills were built within this organization throughout high school, and even today in my second year of college.

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When I went to the University of Essex in Colchester, England during this past Fall semester, I studied some liberal classes and some business core classes that I would have taken at NAU. The difference in teaching style and business projects and assignments in England versus America was quite large. I felt good about the new business environment, though, due to Essex Business School being rated quite high in England. I knew I would come home with more knowledge, so I was really excited to be part of it.

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Being in FBLA, of-course, and my other business endeavors and organizations, I decided to immediately find any Essex Business School clubs that I could join. Let me tell you, there weren’t that many. Thankfully, I found their Marketing Society. They did not focus on competitions, like most of my clubs here at home do, but rather on mentorships, guest speakers, and enhancing one’s business skills through workshops. I actually received a Certificate with the help of the Marketing Society though the business school while I was there.

It was a wonderful experience to be part of that club during my semester abroad, and it ended up being a highlight of my trip as a whole.The diversity factor in the organization was phenomenal, with individuals coming from all over Europe, and the President being from my home country of Romania, and I feel like meeting my colleagues really shaped my perception of how great International Business can become in the future with my generation. All it really takes is having common and ethical goals amongst us. I, of-course, tried to see if I could start up any of my own FBLA (or DECA or AMA) chapter while there, but I think I would have needed to stay for way longer than those three  short months in order to create a truly successful organization at Essex.

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In terms of travel, I did not realize how much business preparation and communication skills would help me in Europe. I cannot count the numerous times I used patience and professionalism to get things done, whether they be figuring out how to get out of tricky situations in a place whose language I did not know, or to simply receive grade transcripts to bring back to NAU from the Essex University Staff. I also used a lot of my presentation and business-strategy skills, acquired from the multiple roleplay competitions I have done throughout my years, to give presentations to students at Essex in a classroom setting.

It was quite incredible to study at Essex Business School and compare it to NAU’s Franke College of Business, or even to the Barrett Honors College or W.P. Carey Arizona State University programs (Fleischer’s and Business Scholars Institute) that I participated in previously. One thing that I observed, however, is that true leadership can be found world-wide. When people, and especially young individuals, place a common goal on the table and discuss strategies and potential improvements and ideas, things get done rapidly and efficiently. With the education we have world-wide, the innovation and technology offered to our generation, and the clubs and organizations that help shape our skills, we can really improve the business world. I saw clear examples of this in FBLA and in other business organizations at home, and in the Essex Marketing Society in England.

Thank you for reading!

-Giulia

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