Stand out in a job search: Study abroad first

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 | 0 comments

Want a way to stand out from the crowd when it’s time to look for a job?

Consider a study abroad trip. Students who study abroad find a job twice as fast as those who don’t and earn $7,000 more, according to 2012 studies.

NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer as a student on a 2011 trip to the UK.

NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer as a student on a 2011 trip to the UK.

Moreover, in a global economy employers increasingly value study abroad experiences, but relatively few students take them, according to the Chicago Tribune. NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer is one who did and saw it pay off in her job hunt.

As an aviation student at NMC, she visited the United Kingdom in 2011 and South Africa in 2014. Steve Ursell, Head of International Aviation at NMC, said those trips gave Smeltzer an edge when the department was looking to employ flight instructors in August 2014.

“Her experience in both the UK and South Africa certainly assisted her in gaining a flight instructor position at NMC because we have a very active international program,” Ursell said.

“Because I went on the trip as a student, now I understand the whole point of what the international program is about,” Smelzer said.

Smelzer, a 2009 Bear Lake High School graduate, has been drawn to travel since she was a child and chose aviation as a way to further that passion.

“’I’ve always been wanting to go places,” she said. She took her first trip overseas at the age of 17, to visit an exchange sister in Germany.

Committing to a study abroad trip can feel like a leap of faith, especially for students who haven’t traveled much previously. But Smelzer says it’s worth it.

“Just do it, you will thank yourself later. Travel is the art of adventure. When you travel you gain a greater understanding for cultures and a better understanding of yourself as a person.  Travel will not only make your job future brighter but it also makes it more colorful. ”

NMC’s International Services office also has resources available. Visit online or stop by the office in the lower level of West Hall.

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