PopUp House
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Samantha Post

Major: Global & International Studies
Hometown: Basking Ridge, NJ
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

While studying abroad in France during the Spring semester, I found a summer internship to prolong my abroad experience. My study abroad University had an internship adviser who was helpful and active in helping me find an internship complementing what I wanted to the company’s desired profile. However, I was very active in this process. I wrote multiple “lettres de motivation” or cover letters, which were not only adapted to each specific internship but also to the structure and norm in France. I would recommend anyone looking for an internship outside of the USA to use local resources - local friends, advisers, professors - to ensure that your process of searching for an internship is corresponding with the local culture’s process of finding qualified candidates!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was not what I expected from a French company. I worked in a startup with approximately 40 employees, and 80% of which were under 30 years old. Therefore, the environment was very young and informal. We have a two-hour lunch break where we eat lunch together on the roof of our office, play ping-pong or work out. Another (good) surprise was that the work that I did as an intern was important and useful for the entire company. As they are in the middle of expanding internationally, I worked with the IT team, engineering team, sales team, and thermal design team to create English tools for our clients and professional partners. As I am reaching the end of my internship, I do not have the impression that I did work for a company. Instead, I have the impression that I worked with friends and acquaintances to improve something we created and continue to create ourselves.

My internship experience has been a window to the things in international business that are used in practice, and this has complemented and will continue to compliment my theoretical studies. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

Within my Global Studies major, I am specializing in international business. The study of cultural differences and their interactions through international business is something I am very interested in, and therefore my internship experience as an American helping a French company expand internationally fits right in with my academic career. As everyone knows, there are things we learn in theory that are not used in practice, and vice versa. My internship experience has been a window to the things in international business that are used in practice, and this has complemented and will continue to compliment my theoretical studies. It has provided me with a frame to analyze theoretical concepts, and having this additional perspective will help me get more out of what I learn in the classroom.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

To be frank, as a rising junior I do not know what I want to do with my career. But, as my time at my internship comes to an end, I am reflecting a lot on what I enjoyed, what I was good at, and what was a challenge. I know that sales and customer communication was not my strong point, nor was it something I enjoyed. However, the internal communication and working with my team members to accompany them in the international process was enjoyable, challenging, and interesting. All in all, I loved working with the challenges of international communication and connection but the business aspect was not especially inspiring. With this in mind, I will strive for my next experience to be more focused in internal communication, but in the political or non-profit sector.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I strongly believe that there is no better experience than one that pushes you far out of your comfort zone. Whether you want to accompany PopUp House in its next steps, or if you are considering an internship in South America or Asia, I believe the challenge of learning a new culture, new language, and how a business, organization or administration works in that environment will challenge, teach and reward you far more than any experience within our borders. Yes, I recommend this experience to every Liberal Art student.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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