As an Interdisciplinary Studies major with a concentration in business, I found the company visits to be extremely fascinating and informative. Considering that I am 25 years old and only one month away from my graduation, I have been attempting to sort out my professional life and move onto my career.
The experience I had during the global field study has not only shaped my personal life, but it has also aided in the moulding of my professional goals. So much so that before leaving for Greece, I started applying for government-based jobs. I am also now steering many of my applications towards private corporations in hopes of landing a role as a junior project manager. Much of this sense of urgency to figure out my life plan, occurred between my visit to Greece and hearing the stories of the Greek financial crisis from the locals.
While in greece and on nearly all of the company visits, it was made clear that due to the lack of opportunity, low wages and political instability, many people, at all skill levels are leaving Greece. In the wake of this problem, Greece is trying to boost its economy by trying to attract some key industries, in hopes that this will bring back those who are leaving. As an American student, I found this interesting—people are trying to come to our homeland, whereas the Greeks are trying to leave theirs. The thought of working abroad is intimidating to me, because the European Union is not fully stable from an economic perspective.
Another impact that the global field study had on me was that many Greek businesses are family-owned. Their level of trust of outsiders is low. As their businesses prosper, extended families work together and combine their finances to keep their livelihood afloat. Conversely, in America it’s a commonly held belief to “never mix business with friendship.” This saying embodies the idea that in order to prevent emotional decisions and family clashes, business should not be co-mingled with family relationships.
My global field study in Greece has impacted my professional life enormously, and at a very critical point in my life. I am fortunate to not have to endure the financial hardships of this beautiful country – something I saw first-hand. I plan to take what I have learned and apply it to my future job applications and incorporate it into my graduate education starting this fall.
Sas efcharistó gia tin efkairía – that’s Greek for “thank you for the opportunity!”
Kate Ford is an interdisciplinary studies major. She is expects to graduate in 2017, and will immediately begin her graduate students at the University of Baltimore. She currently working part-time UB's Legal Studies department will begin a paid internship as a GS-4 level employee for the Communications and Electronics Command sector of the USARMY in the fall. This internship may become a full-time, government job where she can utilize her graduate studies and eventually become a project manager.