Emily Kuhn embarked on a summer experience she thought might be outside her comfort zone, but discovered otherwise during a recently completed eight-week internship in Barcelona, Spain.

Kuhn, internship, Barcelona, business

Emily Kuhn’s internship allowed for travel to cities like Amsterdam.

The senior management major from Robbinsville, N.J., was one of six College of Business students who interned abroad, but the only Clemson student who lived and worked in Barcelona.

“Before leaving, there was a little uncertainty knowing I was going to be the only Clemson student interning in Barcelona,” Emily said. “But it ended up being an opportunity for me to take it upon myself to meet new people and I made some great connections with people from Spain and beyond.”

Emily and four other business students who lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland, took advantage of the business school’s summer international internship program, which is offered in conjunction with the university’s Center for Career and Professional Development. In addition to the international intern experience, the programs awards course credits. It also aids students in developing unique skills by working abroad, which can be leveraged in their job searches.

“The College of Business offers students internship opportunities during the school year, or during summer break,” said Leah Hughes, assistant director for career and professional development. “These are great opportunities to earn class credits while building new competencies and gaining experience in another country’s work culture.”

Beyond the travel and cultural benefits, Emily’s work experience couldn’t have been better tailored to fit her interests. A psychology minor, she worked for a technology start-up that is developing software to read facial expressions.

“The software Robbie AI is developing reads facial expressions to detect emotions like anger, aggression or arousal. It’s designed for use in the medical and hospitality industries,” Emily said. “The internship couldn’t have been better suited for me. It combines the interests I have in business and psychology.”

Beyond the day-to-day work responsibilities, the internship immersed Emily in a work culture unlike any she had ever experienced.

“Things are done differently in other countries and I learned how to figure things out for myself in the workplace, and even in the after-hours activities,” she added. “This was the first time I had been abroad alone, and for an extended period of time. It required me to adapt, but I learned quickly. And the learning opportunities extended into weekends on trips I made to Munich, London, Salzburg and Amsterdam.”

Beyond the value employers put on foreign work experience, Hughes said the confidence, adaptability and problem-solving skills gained from living and working abroad are far reaching.

“The lessons learned beyond the classroom benefits students professionally and personally,” Hughes said. “Because of the many benefits internships abroad bring, we are looking to expand on current opportunities in Dublin, Barcelona and Australia, to intern in Santiago, Chile, next year.”

Emily is an ardent ambassador of the international internship program and encourages others to experience its benefits.

“It helped me grow and opened my eyes to possibly taking a job where I traveled a lot and interacted with international businesses,” she said. “It was an exciting experience that I would encourage others to take advantage of.”

Hughes said information sessions on international internships will be provided this fall but she can also be contacted at leahh@clemson.edu  or at 864.656.2478.

# # #