Studying abroad is filled with incredible opportunities and benefits that last a lifetime. Some of these include new experiences, diving deep into a different culture, and even grasping another language. When I embarked on my first journey abroad in Spain, these benefits were so evident. However, I realized that studying abroad not only shaped me into a more well-balanced individual, but a more successful student when it came to public relations. Below are three lessons I learned while studying abroad that helped me develop new skills for a future in public relations.
Your main goal while studying abroad may be to gain valuable experiences, knowledge, and a global perspective, but that doesn’t mean your trip can’t be filled with time to play. You are a student participating in classes, but you still get more free time than you would think. What do you do with all this free time? This is where the planning comes in. Planning is not only vital to experiencing success in the public relations world, but also in your traveling plans. I was able to plan a trip to France and Switzerland for my friends and I to experience. This opportunity gave me real-world experience in planning, and these practices now carry into the classroom.
When abroad, budgeting is essential. These first two simple steps really go hand in hand with each other. Creating a budget and choosing to stick with it can be difficult, but it will teach you a valuable life lesson for which you will forever be grateful. Not only can this be advantageous to someone personally, but you can utilize these tactics professionally in the future. Public relations professionals need to know how to handle money. This skill can assist you when it comes to renting venues, launching campaigns, and even purchasing ads in public relations. Because of my experience studying abroad, I feel more prepared and confident if I were ever entrusted with creating a budget for a client or a company.
Studying abroad can come with many challenges. As a student, this can grow you to be a more efficient problem solver. When faced with a problem abroad, I learned how vital it is to be resourceful, take initiative, and utilize previous experiences. No matter where you end up in the public relations world, you will be confronted with an issue that will require you to problem solve. Things won’t always go as planned; you must think outside the box, strategize, and work as a team with those surrounding you. This is a crucial skill to learn as a public relations professional when it comes time to try to fix a problem.
Marley Estornell is a senior at Samford University. She is majoring in journalism and mass communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in Spanish. She has found a deep passion for working with people and traveling through her time at Samford. Marley is excited to continue learning more about what it takes to be a successful public relations professional.