International Connections

Caitlin Dewell

Major: Event Management

Minor/option/emphasis: Leadership Studies

Year: Junior
Hometown, State: Nevada, Iowa

Type of experience: Study Abroad
Experience: Experience Prague, Czech Republic the Awesome (AESHM) Way
Experience website:
Destination: Czech Republic

Overall experience..
For this study abroad trip I spent about two weeks in the Czech Republic. We spent the majority of our time in Prague but also made a couple overnight trips to Moravia and Český Krumlov. During our trip we met with and learned from many different areas of the event industry. We met with an Event Coordinator from Lobkowicz palace, event managers from Czech Tourism and had the opportunity to learn how events are run in a 5-star hotel. Additionally, during our 2-week stay we had many opportunities to immerse ourselves in the culture of the Czech Republic and Prague. Overall, this experience was truly eye-opening. I not only learned so much about the facets of event management but also about the culture of the Czech Republic.

I learned...
I learned about this opportunity through the adviser who lead this trip, Rita McClain, who I was in a class with during the Spring semester. She announced in my class that a spot had opened up in the trip last minute and I was extremely excited about this opportunity. Immediately after class I went to go talk to her about this amazing opportunity. The next day I met with the study abroad program and within the week I was sitting in the class! I am so thankful I took this chance and had an amazing time learning and experience the Czech Republic.

An impact to my life...
By going on this trip I have really grown as a person and as an event manager. Through meeting with the various event professionals, my ideas of what an event manager can do and become have really expanded. Before traveling on this study abroad, I was planning on staying in the United States for my next internship as well as any career opportunities. Now, I am extremely interested in interning and working abroad. Since this short study abroad made such a huge impact on me, I am also looking into studying abroad again before I graduate.

A surprising discovery...
The most surprising fact that I learned was when we were touring and meeting with the Event Coordinator from the Lobkowicz Palace. She mentioned that they never post their internship opportunities online. Their belief was that if someone was good enough to work for them, they would take the initiative and reach out to the Palace by themselves. Through this method they hired an intern from Italy to work with their influx of Italian clients and an intern from France who brought new and modern ideas into the way they managed their events. I will take this knowledge to my internship and job search in the future.

Advice for others...
Go into everything with an open mind! You never know what is going to be an extremely impactful or life changing experience if you never open up yourself to the possibility.

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