Student Reflection

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by Fiona Iriarte

As a business student, one of the most important aspects of my undergraduate career is networking with professionals from industries and companies that I could potentially see myself working for in the future. I am very interested in working abroad in the future, but it has been difficult to meet professionals in fields I am exploring, who have also worked abroad or are working abroad now. However, our networking class project gave me a great opportunity to get advice from a former U of I student working in a business role in Dubai. 

Our class was divided into groups, and we given one of Dr. Abbott’s former students to center our project around. We searched for these individuals on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more about their lives and careers before we actually contacted them. Our professionals name was Ben, and he was one of Dr. Abbott’s student’s while he was at U of I. We learned that he studied communications while he was here, and he also studied abroad in Bilbao during his junior year. We learned that he has worked in various countries within the last five years, and he is currently living and working in Dubai.

I was so excited to contact Benjamin, because I was really interested in learning more about the company he is working for and the jobs that he has held throughout the past few years. We sent him an email with a few short questions about his work and experiences traveling and working abroad, and he responded quickly with an enthusiastic and helpful response full of advice for students interested in pursuing a similar career path after graduation. The networking project in this class was probably one of my favorite projects that we did, because it gave me the opportunity to reach out to a professional that I would have never otherwise been able to contact. The advice that Benjamin gave to us was extremely relevant, and we were able to share his email response with our entire class. After hearing about Benjamin’s experiences traveling and working abroad, I am definitely even more motivated to pursue my dreams of doing the same. 


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