My experience with IBS was completely worthwhile. Not only did travel help me grow on a personal level, but it also gave me job experience and insights that will be valuable throughout my career.
I just went through the recruiting process with all of the big 4 accounting firms and secured a full-time position with Ernst and Young (EY) starting this September. The number one thing that the recruiters, staff, and partners were impressed with was my experiences abroad. The great thing about International Business Seminars’ (IBS) programs is that they are not just vacations; they are real business trips that give you an advantage through the recruiting process. The stories I heard, the processes I saw, and the concepts I grasped will remain with me through my entire professional career (and life).
One of my favorite company visits in Europe was getting to see how BMW manufactures their vehicles. We got a behind the scenes look at the processes that the general public does not get to see. We were not allowed to use our phones to take pictures of the factory but I will remember what I saw and used what I learned for the rest of my life. Seeing how these huge companies conduct business in a highly competitive global market gives us a huge career advantage. Not only do we get to view the behind the scenes processes, but we also get the opportunity to speak with high-level executives at these companies.
During a company visit, students can ask anything they want to these executives and they provide valuable insight that cannot be found in textbooks. I loved speaking with the executives at Swarovski and learning about their unique business strategies. Did you know that one of Swarovski’s main priorities is sustainability and that they actively give back to their supply chain? Swarovski has water school programs to help provide clean water underdeveloped areas. The company actively tries to help the world and arguably cares more about giving back than just profitability. I also found it interesting that not a single person at Swarovski knows the entire process. They train their staff to only know segments of the process and keep some aspects secret to protect their brand.
Another one of my favorite company visits was Redoro. The owners of this olive oil company treated us like family. They greeted us with freshly made espresso and snacks. We then got to tour the facility and see the entire process from olives to packaging. After we finished our tour, they taught us how to properly taste olive oil. We were then treated to lunch at the family’s restaurant and invited to come back whenever we wanted. At the conclusion of lunch, we were shown the family’s wine cellar where we enjoyed the best cheese and wine that I have ever tasted.
In conclusion, going on an IBS program is something that you will not regret. My experiences abroad changed my life in more ways than one. Since my programs, opportunities have appeared that I never thought previously possible and I am super thankful.