Rediscovering My Passion for Business
I am a sophomore Business student at LSU and before going through the study abroad experience with IBS, I was beginning to question my business major. As only a sophomore in college, I had not yet reached the more interesting and useful classes, and I was by no means enjoying my intro-level business courses such as ISDS, Economics, and Accounting. I was quickly getting tired of crunching numbers that had no meaning to me and sitting in long classes learning theories of economics just to be confused when it came down to studying and taking exams. For a long time, I was questioning whether ‘business’ was the right path for me, but I couldn’t think of anything else that I was passionate about, so I began to lose motivation. One of my goals became finding a new passion in life because, at the time, it felt that all of my passions were useless.
One day Professor Catanzaro walked into the doors of my accounting class and gave a speech informing us about the opportunity to study aboard through IBS. She mentioned that we would be traveling to London and Paris over winter break, would be doing company visits to gain real-world experience and that there would be no classroom settings or tests. I was immediately sold by those three things.
My IBS seminar could not have come at a better time because it brought excitement and confidence back into the field I was studying. For the first time in a long time, I found direction and inspiration! It turns out, all I needed was the opportunity to be placed in an actual business setting to realize that business is not as boring as those intro-level courses that I have been taking make it seem. I learned that business is actually exciting, and what a relief that was! Also, after learning about why America has a much enviable economy compared to the other nations in the EU, I decided that Economics is a lot less boring than I thought it was too.
Along with the reassurance of my major came some great advice and inspiration. For example, I learned that at Chelsea Football Club, the number one source of revenue is sponsorships, not tickets. I also gained some inspiration to create the next great restaurant concept after learning that the Hard Rock Café was started in London by two Americans who wanted Londoners to experience the tastiness of American cuisines i.e. cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes. Perhaps I should start a restaurant in America with London cuisine! LOL. The manager at Hard Rock also informed us that their biggest source of revenue was not actually the food and drinks that they serve, but the merchandise that they sell. I’m a Finance major, so how money is made and how money is saved, and just money in general really interests me. I was very intrigued by what the executives at these two major organizations had to say, and I have pages of useful and interesting notes, rather than bland notes given by a PowerPoint presentation in an average classroom setting.
The other important thing that this semester provided me with were great connections. Right off the bat, I had the opportunity to do an internship with IBS. Other than that, I also have forty new friends from all over the country that I met throughout this experience. One of my friends, Jake, is an Accounting major and told me to call him anytime I need help. As for the future, the possibilities for networking with these people are endless. It is so nice to say that I have already gained international business experience as well as a network of great people and I haven’t even graduated from college yet.
I know a few people that have had to take some time off of college to figure out what direction they want to go in life. I was afraid of having to do the same, which is why I am so thankful for the experience that I had during my time abroad. It gave me the opportunity to travel across the ocean, completely separated from the influence of my friends and family to take some time to grow, learn, and figure things out on my own. This seminar truly helped me rediscover my passion. If you’re going through something similar to my former situation, take advantage of this opportunity that IBS can give to you! Who knows it could be one of the best things that could ever happen to you. It definitely was for me.