The following blog was written by an Advize Health intern. This will be the first in a short series that explores the perspectives and aspirations of our incredible team of interns.
Interning sometimes comes across people’s minds as a fetching Starbucks for C-suite level executives so they can complete their daily business operations, or running around performing the menial tasks that no one else wants to do. This is simply not the case. Serving as an intern is an enriching time investment. Studying abroad while having an internship is a different story, and requires adjustment and adaptability. Studying abroad while interning for a United States based company is more than just coffee runs. Day to day, as an intern abroad, there are a few important things to consider: being six hours ahead of the company’s work day, class schedule, home University involvement, and current University involvement. All of these items have a significant affect on daily productivity.
The picture below summarizes my typical day quite well. To start, notice the can of RedBull, bottled water, a mug of hot green tea, pretzels, and M&Ms. These snacks and beverages keep me fueled. Aside from the consumption of goods, the comfortable décor of flowers and inspirational quotes paired with background music keeps be focused and inspired. While I am not required to physically run from meeting to meeting, I am mentally running around to research, plan, and think critically about in-house strategy development, system organization, cost and benefit analysis for goods and services. When the clock strikes 4am for my company, it is already 10am where I’m located. In order to work a full eight-hour day, I must blend my time late into the evening. The time difference makes this process quite difficult, especially where communication is involved. This is where flexibility and the ability to multi-task comes into play.
As a young aspiring international entrepreneur, experiencing the complications of time differences helps me hone my adaptability skills, something that will no doubt help me on my journey to international business. Being in school blends well with being an intern because it teaches flexibility, but also the opportunity to apply what I learn to real life experiences. Most classes for me are late in the day, which is late morning to early lunch for Florida (where Advize Health is headquartered). Typically, in the morning, Vienna time, I make breakfast and coffee, listen to the Austrian news, and prep myself for the day. Preparations include reviewing my to-do list, re-prioritizing my tasks, mentally thinking of what the new day will bring, and what I will bring to it. I start by setting up music or a show for background noise in order to add some additional comfort and motivation to my day.
This experience is a mental adjustment, especially when I am stationed in Europe. My heart keeps telling me to travel and explore, but my mind is telling me to stay focused on using this opportunity as leverage for future international exposure and career experience. Having this internship helps keep me grounded and focused on the tasks at hand. Finding that school-work-life balance is something that I’m learning to achieve, with the help of planned and budgeted weekend trips, involvement with my universities, and the study of language and cultures. My routine often fluctuates in order to make time for both networking and my mental health. Midnight runs are becoming a daily activity to help realign my personal wellness; physical, mental, professional, and academic.
As an intern with a particularly busy schedule, I can very easily work early mornings and late nights. To accommodate the time difference, I have found ways to turn 24 hours into 30, by prioritizing my projects. This experience is showing me both the tedious and the exciting sides of being an entrepreneur. Time differences and varying cultures have created a new world within which I operate, and I will continue to expand my global network in order to gain the experience I need to perform within multiple business cultures and markets.