Jenny Todora is a junior management information systems major at the Rawls College of Business, on course to graduate in December 2018. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she has dreams of living in a foreign country after graduation. Her goal is to work as an IT Consultant in a European country. In spring 2016, Jenny became the first Texas Tech student to study at the Stockholm Business School in Stockholm, Sweden. Learn how her time abroad and with the Rawls College has prepared her for life after graduation in the Q&A below.
What study abroad programs did you participate in?
I participated in the Reciprocal Exchange program at Stockholm Business School in Stockholm, Sweden during this past spring semester. My classes included Swedish Language; Human Resource Management; Fashion Marketing; Strategic Management; and Business, Politics, and Culture.
Why did you want to study abroad?
I wanted to study abroad because I am very interested in other cultures and love to travel. I wanted to gain a better understanding of Swedish culture and what the differences are between Sweden and the U.S. I was also interested in learning more about how my own culture is viewed from an outside perspective. Of course, I was also excited about the prospect of visiting other countries, but that was more of a bonus.
How did the skills and knowledge you gained at the Rawls College prepare you to study abroad?
The Center for Global Engagement was an incredible help. They brought up questions that I hadn't even considered. They reminded me to consider things like insurance, counseling, and how I was going to deal with the culture shock when I got there and reverse culture shock when I returned. They also provided me with information on how to get a residence permit, housing, and other things that tend to slip your mind when you become excited about studying abroad. Listening to some of the presentations alerted me to many of the dangers and risks that you could face while alone in another country. I took all of the advice to heart and ended up truly benefiting from that.
How will your study abroad experiences help you in the future?
As someone who wants to work internationally, my experience opens up many opportunities. I immediately look better when it comes to applying for jobs because today's world is more global; therefore, knowledge of another culture is highly valued. Before I went to Sweden, I was a quiet person who had a hard time making a lot of friends. Studying abroad forces you to open up and become more independent. These social skills and sense of independence are things that will aid me well into the future.
What was your favorite part of studying abroad?
Without a doubt, my favorite part was getting to meet people from all over the world. I met people from so many different countries and backgrounds. I made friendships that will last a lifetime. Sure, not every friendship stays intact, but the ones that do are something to treasure.
What advice do you have for students interested in taking coursework abroad?
The main advice I have is to start early. I ended up being rushed because I made the decision a bit late, but I am so glad I went. Do not be afraid to be on your own. There will be plenty of other students who are in the same boat as you. Also, do not spend all your time going to other countries. Make sure you spend a significant amount of time in the country you choose and see its beauty as well. That is how I discovered Stockholm's true beauty. It is a place full of color and life, but you only get to see that if you are willing to spend the time looking around.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.