After Abroad

Alumni Spotlight: Grant Channell

Grant Channell is an ISA Global Ambassador at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He studied with ISA in Prague, Czach Republic, Fall 2018.

He is currently finishing out his last semester of his business degree and happy to share his reflections with ISA.  If you would like to chat with a Global Ambassador, please contact alumni@studiesabroad.com, who can connect you to a student that will give you the inside scoop on studying abroad.

How has studying abroad affected your degree in business? How did it help you grow?

Adding studying abroad experience to ones’ resume distinguishes them from the run-of-the-mill business undergraduate degree graduates. After my semester abroad, I am able to tell employers of certain instances where I boosted my personal professional development. I am now able to talk about knowledge gained in communication skills, managing and adjusting to unfamiliar situations, as well as the vast personal growth that cannot be taught, but only experienced. Contradictory from the insights I gained from traditional schooling, this study abroad experience allowed me to learn more about myself and decipher what knowledge, skills, and abilities are needed for real-world application. My favorite aspect of study abroad is that there is no one-route to success. Each individual has his or her own idea of what study abroad is supposed to be, thus, each individual leaves the experience with something special.

Another amazing thing about studying abroad is that at any moment, you can find yourself in a situation that leaves you with memories for a lifetime! For example, one night as my roommate and I were cooking dinner, the electricity suddenly went out. Of course, my mind immediately went to our precious ice cream sitting in our freezer—we had to act fast. After the initial panic, I remembered the ISA host team mentioned we had a 24-hour custodian in the building. Perfect—I will find the custodian and inform him of the issue—problem solved. Wrong. Upon finding the custodian, I find out he does not speak a lick of English. The clock is ticking, and our Czech version of rocky road is dwindling. Fortunately, after a little bit of broken Czech and a lot of hand-motioning, I was able to relay the message to him.

The moral of the story is that a learning opportunity can be found in any situation, you just have to be willing to see it. Even if you come across setbacks on your trip, push through and you will find a way. In this instance, I assessed the situation, analyzed the options and pursued the best solution.

When in doubt, my motto is: expect nothing and you will appreciate everything.

How will becoming more globalized impact your future career?

From the business perspective, I returned to the U.S. with an enhanced global understanding. In many ways I added value to my degree recognizable to a wider employer audience. Notable skills like international communication, holistic awareness, and innovative interaction are all admirable abilities that will keep an employer wanting to know more about you. Now having  global experience, I am more likely to be considered for opportunities overseas, temporary or long-term.

You are currently in Greek life –  How did studying abroad correlate? 

If you are involved with Greek life on your own campus, you have already conquered the basic skills needed to study abroad. There are many parallels between your first semester in Greek life and a semester abroad. In both circumstances you are immersed in an environment new to you. In both circumstances it is essential to network and build a rapport with people previously a stranger to you. In both circumstances you are figuring out how to manage and adapt to a highly tentative schedule. I know those situations can be tricky at times, however, they are oh-so-rewarding after you step out of your comfort zone. In the end you don’t want to leave that once-new environment or culture. In the end you won’t want to leave those people who were once strangers to you. In the end you are one step closer to that well-rounded student you are striving to be. Take chances, risk your comfort zone, and you will never look back.

How did you get into the Global Ambassador program?

After a life altering semester abroad, I discovered a passion for international relations and wanted to surround myself with like-minded people such as myself.

What inspires you?

The idea of a more globalized world for a better tomorrow. I’m passionate about the environment and working in diverse cultures. I see international business (globalization) as a means to work together for a more sustainable and prosperous future.

Interview conducted by Jessica Terrell, an ISA Alumni Relations Coordinator.

Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.

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