Nazareth in the World

Jessica Wojcinski

Jessica Wojcinski posing with a class at a school where she's interning in Valencia

International Interns

Students gain global mindsets along with career skills

by Chris Farnum

Quinton Harvey ’15 wants to be a musicologist and further develop as a classically trained vocalist. His fall 2013 internship with a music society during a semester in Berlin showed him he can do it — even in German. “I was able to hold my own,” he says. “The whole experience boosted my confidence completely. I’m much more open to trying new things.”

Annemarie Tiburzi ’12 learned a lot from her marketing internship at a language school in Valencia, Spain. “The internship was an unforgettable, unique, and helpful experience. I gained confidence, and also it assisted me with landing other work both domestically and abroad,” says Tiburzi, an international business major who now teaches English in Madrid city schools.

In addition to confidence, connections, and language skills, interning internationally provides work experience, cultural insights, and global perspective.

Nazareth is one of the only colleges nationwide to require experiential learning for all students as part of its revamped core curriculum, and internships are one way to meet that goal. Many of Nazareth’s academic programs require 120-hour, for-credit internships. Even in majors that don’t, students see the benefits of real-world engagement.

The Nazareth-in-Berlin semester program includes four-week, full-time internships after coursework is completed. Nazareth’s programs in Pescara (Italy), Valencia (Spain), and Rennes (France) offer part-time, semester-long internships suited to various majors/interests. The combination of language immersion, classwork, and career development provides a comprehensive study-abroad semester, says George Eisen, Ph.D., executive director of Nazareth’s Center for International Education and associate vice president for academic affairs. “In order to be competitive, you have to learn the culture of the workplace.”

Employers want college graduates who can be flexible, adapt to change, work independently, and communicate well, says Emily Carpenter, internship director for Nazareth. “Companies and organizations increasingly work internationally, so they need employees who can speak more than one language, understand the perspectives of others, and relate to different cultures, religions, government structures, and global issues.”

In Berlin, Karla Jackson ’13 helped with social media at Sirius Facilities, creator of more than 30 business parks, and improved the English wording of slide shows that had been translated badly from German to English. A workshop on Google adwords sparked her interest and provided knowledge that led to her current job as digital marketing coordinator at FireHost, a secure cloud hosting company in Richardson, Texas.

“Learning about adwords in Germany helped me figure out what I want to do as a profession,” says Jackson, who works to optimize keyword selection so her company pays only for the best-match clicks to its website.

Devin Kelly ’13 had such a great internship in Leeds, England, that she ended up getting a job there. The sociology major with a minor in community youth development is a youth support worker for both Leeds City Council and for a charity called Getaway Girls, where she interned in fall 2012.

Jessica Wojcinski '15, who is interning at a Catholic school in Valencia in spring 2014, has found laid-back attitudes about time in Spain. Meetings often start 15 to 30 minutes late and she is given a lot of freedom rather than deadlines, structure, or requests for updates.

Knowing about cultural differences eases work interactions, says Wojcinski. “If you are aware of the basics of what other cultures find normal, it’s just as easy to interact with someone from another culture as it is to interact with someone from your own.”

Chris Farnum is the content writer and editor in Nazareth’s marketing department.

Tips for Interns Abroad

On adventure:

Karla Jackson ’13 said stepping out of her comfort zone by studying and interning in Germany when she didn’t speak the language opened her up to handling other life challenges. “I’m not afraid to make life-changing decisions, or immerse myself in a new culture, location, or group of people,” she says.

On language:

Some programs offer coursework in English. But do take advantage of Nazareth’s language courses, language lab, and online language-prep programs before you go for a richer experience overseas. Annemarie Tiburzi ’12 now speaks Spanish well. But her ability was low in 2011 when she studied in Spain. “If my Spanish were better, I would have been able to choose my own internship.”

On being hesitant:

“I would say to someone hesitant about interning or going abroad that you need to do it, you will look back and realize how that experience changed your life, your perspective, and gave you incredible memories,” says Tiburzi, who hadn’t been outside the U.S. for an extended period before studying abroad. Now she lives and works in Madrid, Spain. “It’s not as scary or as difficult as it seems. There is always a way to handle any problems or struggles. You’re surrounded by people who are going through the same experience as you, and this creates an instant bond.”

On connections:

Devin Kelly ’13 said all her experiences abroad were strengthened by the good connections her professors had with the coordinators overseas. Marie Watkins ’73, Ph.D., director of Nazareth’s community youth development program, had built relationships with tutors in the youth work program in Leeds, “to ensure I was well supervised and placed in two centers that would offer me different yet equally rewarding and challenging youth work experiences,” Kelly says.

Parliament Dome

Quinton Harvey, second from right, and friends outside the dome at the Reichstag in Berlin.