Lisbon internship points to benefits of Global Internship program

Michael-Grau

By Andrew Addessi

Internships can take people to other companies, other states, and through Bowling Green State University’s Global Internship program, even other countries.

BGSU student Michael Grau was one of the first students to take part in an internship to Lisbon in Portugal, which he believes secured another internship at Marathon Petroleum Corporation in Findlay, Ohio.

Each year, different internships are offered based on the needs and interests of BGSU’s partners abroad. Students have traveled to Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Africa, just to name a few. Dr. Marcia Salazar-Valentine, executive director of International Programs and Partnerships (IPP), visited several companies in Lisbon to make sure the experience would be valuable to students who are studying abroad.

The Global internship program often has informational meetings and booths set up at events to tell students about learning opportunities. Grau, a major in business administration with specializations in supply chain management, marketing and international business became interested at one of these meetings.

“I went to a general study abroad meeting and they briefly talked about the potential to intern abroad,” Grau said. “This drew me towards the program because I thought I would get the chance to see what it is like to really live and work in a foreign country.”

For about two months, Grau had the chance to work in and explore the city, connect with his co-workers over soccer on Wednesday nights and even visit other locales on weekends such as Paris; Madrid, Spain; and Naples, Italy.

In addition to providing the opportunity to explore, live, work and experience other countries and cultures, the Global Internship program allows students to stand out when looking at careers and professional internships. Grau, in an interview for a Marathon internship, said the interviewer was very interested in his global internship.

 “I feel that my global internship abroad helped me gain my next internship because it differentiated my resume from most of my peers,” he said.

Separating from the crowd is a key way for students to gain an upper hand in getting the internships and careers they want to pursue. The Global Internship program helps students not only gain knowledge about the wider world, customs and cultures, but gives them experience that they can carry over into the workplace.

 “I believe that people who have the chance to go abroad and experience life in another culture have a different point of view than people who have never stepped outside their everyday life,” Grau said. “It shows that you are willing to take risks and are open to new experiences.”