Well…that time has come. And this time, I am not traveling anywhere new, I promise. I have a one-way ticket back to NYC, where my family, friends, and the office await me. Writing this from the airport in Kuala Lumpur, I am completely phased by the fact that 14 weeks have passed.
NYC to Buenos Aires to Kuala Lumpur. The difference in each city is immense. Buenos Aires (BA) and Kuala Lumpur (KL) are so different, you cannot even compare them. The work I did was a challenge in BA, particularly because of the language. The work in KL was insightful, because of the powerful Asian market. The office environments and culture were drastically different, and so was the life outside of work. BA is a movable city by foot. You can take a walk easily in almost every district because there are streets to do so. In KL, you need a car to get almost anywhere. A big similarity for both cities is that I learned A LOT from incredibly wonderful people at both offices, who are driven towards doing fantastic work, for a fantastic company.
So, as I sit here and reflect on my summer, I can think of just a few things I want to share. Some of them are things I have learned about myself, but also I give my advice. This advice is merely a way for the next travel lover who finds themselves in need of living abroad, working abroad, or simply traveling just for the heck of it, to have some background insight into what I’ve been through. This is a reflection of not only Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur, but also in my past international internships, as well as lifetime of travel.
So here they are:
1. I must work in an office space where I can call those people I work with “a family.” I have been fortunate enough to have met some of the most wonderful people in my travels and past internships. I still keep in touch with many of my past co-workers from other internships, and will always be acquainted with them in some way. I have been able to grow as an individual and professional because of the people I worked with, and it made me realize just how important it is to find that office family to continuously make you grow. This, I cannot be more grateful for. Because from this, the office becomes a space you are excited to work in each day.
In addition, this is something to note about people in general:
The people I have worked with and met along the way most importantly make the experience for you. I have seen that no matter how long you stay on your own, unless you meet others and learn about their opinions and ideas, you cannot fully understand yourself. I have engaged with everyone from the people in my office to the local fruit dealer in BA. There were those I met during a weekend trip, and some I shared long conversations with at local cafes. When you open yourself up to others while traveling, you get the opportunity to understand so much about the world and about how others see it. With this, you get to understand why you personally think the way you do. For me, everyone I interacted with, regardless if I saw them more than once, or talked with for 5 minutes, had some sort of impact on me in my travels.
2. This one may seem obvious to some… You can love the city you are living in, but at the end of the day, if you don’t love what you are doing, you won’t excel. I love the media industry, and I love marketing and advertising. I have definitely found my industry, but I will have to think more strategically about what I really loved doing within it. I have been exposed to many job titles this summer, and there are definitely some I favor more than others.
3. Finally, I really have to find a city I love and stop leaving it. I have worked and lived in many different countries. What I have hated the most is the fact that I am ALWAYS the one saying goodbye. I am always the one planning the goodbye parties and always the one in tears on the way to the airport. My goal after college is to find the city I want to live in and stay there for a long time. At least one year’s worth of time, maybe more. There has been so much change and growth in my life after each abroad experience, I cannot imagine what one year or more can bring me.
So I end this summer having learned so much about myself, reflecting on life in general, and specifically, my life. From the Spanish I acquired in BA, to the magnificent food I have tried in Asia, I have opened myself up to so much culture. I believe I have not only learned so much about media, but also about the business in general, and business conducts in so many different international markets. I can only give my many thanks to the people who have impacted me along the way. There is no way else to say it, but THANK YOU. Thank you for exploring with me. Thank you for teaching me new skills. Thank you for showing me a good time. Thank you for feeding me fantastic food. Thank you for always answering my many curious questions. Thank you for letting me be me and work with you all.
So I leave, back to NYC to continue to be a student. There will be more travels to come for me within my last year of college, and I am excited to share those with some of my best friends. Until I step up and receive my diploma, I will really never stop pondering on where I want my whole heart to end up after college. Until then, I will continue to ponder. Because, at the end of the day, who doesn’t love to dream about worldwide opportunities? The world holds an infinite amount of possibilities, and you won’t know that until you get up and just go.
With so many thanks to everyone who influenced me this summer, good luck in the future my friends!
Your humbled and so grateful intern,