I think that anytime you challenge yourself in a new way you have the opportunity to grow as a person. For me, studying abroad is unlike anything I have ever done. I have never taken a class in another city let alone across the globe so it will certainly take some time for me to get adjusted to this new way of learning. I think that adjusting to a new culture will undoubtedly help me become more adaptable and more spontaneous as I traverse through new situations later in life.
Academically, I am motivated to immerse myself into the Cypriot culture by learning as much as I can from everyone that I encounter whether that be my fellow study abroad classmates, University of Nicosia students, Cypriot business leaders, or even Cypriots that I meet in passing. I think that I will learn the most through the everyday problems that I will run into throughout the trip. I think that in general individuals learn the most by overcoming challenges and I anticipate that this will be amplified when in another country. I know that there will be times where I will have to improvise and compromise in order to discover a solution. However, I think that this perfectly aligns with engineering as there will never be a perfect manufacturing plant or lab environment. There will always be variables out of your control and things that will go wrong but it is imperative in those moments to remain calm and focused in order to persevere. Furthermore, I believe that I will gain more structured information through the countless business meetings and lectures given. Currently on the agenda there are meetings with a variety of different brands from online gaming and pharmaceuticals to ship management companies. While meeting with experts in these fields I will be able to learn what they have learned through their years of running successful international businesses. Additionally, the lectures provided by the University of Nicosia will give me the opportunity to learn in a new setting as well as grow in my knowledge of supply chain, data forecasting, and cryptocurrency. This new information will be presented in a way that bridges the gap between business and engineering. Because of this, I will be able to apply this knowledge to any career that I pursue and will also be able to use it to determine whether or not pursuing a masters in business is the correct career path for me.
Professionally, I hope to step out of my comfort zone in regard to asking questions and participating in lectures/presentations. Although it can be intimidating to ask questions or speak in front of large groups of people, the presenters are so eager to answer any student’s questions because it will show that they were engaged in the conversation and are interested in learning more. Also, there is a networking event scheduled on the itinerary. I think that this event would be a great opportunity to meet professionals in Cyprus as well as practice my networking skills. I truly believe that immersing myself into Cypriot culture as well as taking advantage of every opportunity presented to me will provide me with the experiences needed to achieve my goals for the trip.