I often refer back to my international experience: travelling, living, studying and working abroad. This experience largely contributed to my personal development and helped me find my career path.
Before I went abroad I had the wrong mind set of “but we do it this way”. I learned that in foreign countries people work differently. If we want to build good work relationships we need to be open minded to do things differently. After all, we’ll be always working towards a common goal.
Living abroad taught me independence, responsibility, adaptability, how to integrate in local communities and overcome language barriers.
Two main things that I took from my oversees experience are foreign languages and network.
My journey began in 2005 when I graduated high school and went to Switzerland to study hotel management. The reason I chose Switzerland was because I wanted to learn French and German at the same time. I studied French in high school and wanted to be fluent. I knew I will only achieve this by living in the country. During the hotel management studies I did an internship in a restaurant, that’s the perfect environment to learn a new language because you get to learn the basics very fast and on the job. I then took language classes between shifts and on my days off and quickly improved my language skills.
Expanding my network was also part of the experience, and I realise how important it is only couple of years later! Friends who studied or worked with me changed jobs or moved countries and I was able to leverage these connections when I was looking for new opportunities. Thanks to social media it’s so easy to stay in touch today.
How I got my international experience
– Bachelor degree
– Exchange semester
– Language school
– Industry competitions
– Blog press trips
I learned that it’s best to work for a big company. In events industry many companies are small and you’ll find yourself doing everything and working overtime. Bigger companies, on the other hand, will be able to give you more guidance, training and support. When I started my career I worked for small companies and only later switched to a big corporation. I wish I’ve done it the other way around because the big company was much more organised and structured to give me career support.
Getting international work experience is my biggest advice if you want to develop your career in the events industry. Working oversees and challenging yourself to integrate in a new environment gives you the tools and confidence to progress your career once you decide to come home. I have many friends who have been promoted when returning home after getting international work experience.
Now I moved to Germany and very excited to start this new chapter! It’s up to me to see it as a challenge or an opportunity. I’ve built a strong network in London and will terribly miss the London events community and vibe. But I also know that being now in Germany is an opportunity. Opportunity to expand my network, grow my events, think more creatively and challenge everything else I do.