Rawls International Experience Provides Career Success for Alumna Jade Shank
By: Trevor Bell
Gaining international experience can be crucial to succeeding in today's business environment. Despite never leaving the state of Texas or even being an International Business major, alumna Jade Shank knew that in order to succeed upon graduation, she would have to open her eyes to the world and give herself a competitive advantage.
She took the opportunity to study abroad because she wanted to broaden her horizons and gain experience of how other countries and cultures practice business. The decision to study abroad in Australia allowed her to do that.
"I decided that I needed to do something different. I thought about the furthest place I could travel, and Australia was a natural fit," she said. "I was curious about their culture, and I knew that it would be a good experience for my future moving forward."
Shank, a dual Marketing and Management major who graduated in Aug. 2013, traveled abroad from July 2012 to Dec. 2012 and credits her abilities in the professional world to her time in Australia. After graduation, Shank received a job offer from ISN - a global leader in contractor and supplier management, headquartered in Dallas, with additional offices internationally - where she works as an Associate helping contractors manage accounts and coordinate contracts with various companies.
"While abroad, the views toward business were different than what we face in the United States. I was immersed in a global working environment. I received firsthand insight on how a foreign country looked at marketing and management," she said. "ISN is a company that likes to expose its employees to multiple facets of the company. Because of that, I used my experiences of throwing myself into something brand new, like traveling to Australia, and my eagerness to learn to help relate my abilities to the company."
Because of her time in Australia, Shank was selected as part of an exclusive team to work in ISN's Sydney office earlier this year. She had the same duties and responsibilities; however, she was able to use her international experience and cultural understanding to make informed decisions that positively affected the company.
"I was selected for this trip because I was familiar with the Australian culture, and I was open to new opportunities. I also helped my fellow associates acclimate to the environment," she said.
When reflecting upon her time abroad and her career thus far, Shank acknowledged the value of studying abroad and encouraged current Rawls students to take advantage of any opportunities they are given.
"Australia opened my eyes to different experiences and how beneficial it can be to gain exposure. I don't think I would have had any desire to go out of the country, let alone Texas. It was the best experience of my life, and it taught me that having an open mind is a benefit, even if you're uncomfortable at the beginning. I hope students continue to study abroad, no matter what their major is, because it's an experience that can't be taught. It helps you more than you know when you move on."