Stories that Shaped Us: Professional Skills and Intercultural Competency
Lucas Iosue is an ISA Internships – Valencia alum at Northern Arizona University whose internship abroad during Spring 2021 led him to incorporating international disciplines into his future academic and career pursuits while also gaining a new perspective into Spanish culture and its people.
We reached out to learn more about why he chose to go abroad with ISA Internships and how his experience abroad has impacted him long-term. Check out his unique story below and hear his advice for others wanting to follow a similar path!
What inspired you to study abroad, and why did you choose Valencia, Spain?
LI: What inspired me was the simple fact that during the pandemic, when many were proclaiming what they COULDN’T do, I sought to do what I COULD do. I found ISA online through my extensive research. I previewed and analyzed ISA’s mission statement, along with many other details. In the final analysis, I saw it as a perfect fit for me and my goals to work on an international level. I know that having an international perspective on your career is imperative for maximizing growth capacity – professionally, emotionally, spiritually and cognitively. I chose Valencia, Spain because that was an option available to me during the undulating restrictions for international students and other world travelers. I saw Valencia, Spain as an excellent space to learn something new and truly challenge myself.
What was it like interning abroad in Spain? You mentioned switching to a remote internship during your program – what was that experience like?
LI: To work as an intern for the local and professional academy, I could only describe it as once in a lifetime! I am immensely thankful for the opportunities provided to me by the truly outstanding staff/faculty on the ground in Valencia, Spain. Switching to a remote position with the academy was a great thing. I was effectively introduced to forms of formal collaboration in a way that will be more common now as the world has changed. If I could have stayed, I wouldn’t have it any other way because what it is that I learned can only be found in the circumstances that I incurred. In other words, the lessons I learned were exclusively learned in the conditions and demands set upon me in my rich professional experience through ISA. The experience working as an intern in Spain could be described as preparatory and critically insightful. I feel as though I acquired a perspective on leadership and mentorship that I will use for the rest of my natural life and hopefully I can share this wisdom with others that are willing to hear it. The experience in Spain changed my life.
What did you learn about yourself through these experiences and how did your time abroad impact your understanding of the world?
LI: Acquiring a multitude of perspectives for your field of work can prove to be the most honest and effective approach to becoming an outstanding individual. Being multifaceted in your discipline is an advantage that should be properly developed. My understanding of the world came to a much higher resolution and those that have traveled abroad can understand that statement in full. By no means did I see it all, but a window into the world of those I worked with, and the ones who’s lives I impacted, showed me that the effect you can have on others, no matter how small, can truly make the difference in their life as much as your own. I formed several relationships with my colleagues that I see as valuable and meaningful beyond what is professionally understood. To say the least, I learned some of the most critical life lessons in my journey, innumerable in aggregate.
What is one of your favorite memories or stories from your internship?
LI: The story to share would be when I was working with the local club — particularly the U14 Boys’ team. There was a new player that was in desperate need of some guidance. He was performing poorly on a drill – one that is not normally considered difficult. Noticing this, I went to ask the head coach if I could try and help him. The coach then looked at me and said, “You are his leader, his role model – along with all of us – go and do what it is that convicts you.” At this point I felt what is commonly described as empowered. I then walk up to the boy and begin to guide him and usher him to a more focused space in his own mind. After finally giving him a technical piece of advice, he went on to excel and immediately improve, before realizing that his discrepancies came from his own mind, because, just like many of us, we are largely capable of whatever it is we put our minds to – it simply takes some to encourage, lead, and guide you in the proper direction.
What are you up to now? How did your internship play a role in this?
LI: I am currently seeking a Master’s degree in Global Leadership and Management (Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University). This internship played a critical role because it has afforded me an experience that is tremendously relevant for the continued education I seek to pursue.
Any advice for students interested in interning abroad?
LI: Give it a go. Be courageous. Be bold. Be YOU. Aim for something greater than you are, because whether you know it or not, you are already something more than you believe – you just haven’t realized it yet.
Curious to hear more from ISA/TEAN alumni? Read more blogs about ISA/TEAN Internships or explore how other alumni have professionally developed during their time abroad like Lucas.
Inspired by Lucas’s journey and want to discover your own while immersing yourself in a study abroad program? Fill out your details below to let our team know and we’ll help you find your adventure today!