Hi, my name is Jordyn Powell and I am from a small town north of Pittsburgh, PA called Punxsutawney. I currently attend Towson University in Maryland, where I am a sophomore studying Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Legal Studies. I attended the 2020 Winter One Seminar over this last winter break.
Hear more directly from Jordyn:
Why did you choose your IBS seminar vs any other study abroad program?
After lots of research and comparing the different options available on my campus and the seminars that IBS offered, I decided that IBS was the best fit for me. IBS was so unique in what they offered and the real-world experience I would receive. My sister and my dad both studied abroad with IBS and have both said they gained lessons, friends, and new insights that they would never have received anywhere else. One thing that is so unique is that during an IBS seminar you travel to several different locations, in an accelerated time, and are spending those days visiting businesses and exploring the different cities. I knew IBS would allow me to learn in a real-world setting versus where other programs you are learning in the traditional classroom setting. I knew I wanted to study abroad but couldn’t commit myself to a whole semester abroad. I knew IBS would allow me to maximize my opportunities in an accelerated period of time that fit the experiences I was looking for.
What did you learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so many new things about the world, the way businesses operate, and about myself during my time abroad. The lessons I learned while abroad are things that I never would have learned anywhere else. As I visited each new country, I learned more and more about the different cultures around us and learned to appreciate our differences, but also to acknowledge our similarities. Each culture was so different but taught me so much and that there is more than one way to do things. During my seminar, we visited so many amazing businesses that helped me learn how they operate but also gave me insight into cultural differences in the workplace. During my seminar, I felt my confidence in my leadership and professional skills developed and also on my general knowledge of the business industry. IBS was the best thing to ever happen to me as it helped me grow as an overall person. IBS is a once in a lifetime experience that is worth every cent.
Being able to travel to multiple cities and countries, what travel advice do you have for future students?
Traveling to multiple cities and countries in such a short period can seem like a daunting trip but proves to be worth it. If I could give advice to anyone it would be, pack half of what you think you will need! I ended up wearing a lot of the same stuff over and over again and wished I wouldn’t have packed the other half of the things I knew weren’t essentials. Before you leave budget, your money and look into travel credit cards and other options your bank might offer to help decide what is best for you. While discussing these options with your bank see if you can avoid major conversion fees if you convert money before you leave. Having a set budget will help you feel more confident in what you are able to do abroad. I suggest downloading Duolingo to help learn simple phrases in languages that you may encounter on your trip, you don’t need to be fluent but making an effort and knowing a few phrases will go a long way. I would suggest having a list of things you would like to do and see before you go but know that these will change and that’s okay! Once you make friends on the trip it is a lot easier to plan out your days and the things you might want to do. With that being said, this is YOUR trip, if there is something you want to do but no one else does then don’t be afraid to go on your own and do it. Overall, plan accordingly but be willing to adapt. You can only prepare for so much, and the rest will fall into place.
Do you intend on interning/working abroad in the future – if so, what did you learn from your seminar that will help you work/live abroad?
I have always been curious about working abroad and studying abroad has proven to me that it would be an amazing experience. Each company talked in-depth on their relations with other countries, and most had programs that made it easy to work in different locations. I believe working abroad is something I can picture myself doing more clearly now, after discussing with American employees who are working abroad how they adjusted to the change and how it is manageable. I learned to be receptive to other cultures and how they do things. For instance, in America, we are very fast-paced, but that may not be the case in other cultures. I believe it is about learning the balance between what you know and understanding that you also have a lot to learn. I would like to pursue International Law, and I believe that the hands-on experience I gained while on my IBS seminar has prepared me to work and/or live abroad.
If you have any questions email me at: Jpowel21@students.towson.edu