Spending a summer studying and interning in Barcelona, Spain, Jessica Ha, ’21, gained insight about how culture plays a role in business decisions and influences government policies. Today, the international business alum uses the professional and life skills honed when abroad while working for a global digital marketing company in New York City.
“Through my nine-week internship in Barcelona, I learned how business and marketing are done differently and similarly to the United States, broadening my understanding of how culture and diversity plays a crucial part in the market,” Ha recalled.
She interned at Coop4Equality, a social innovation company specializing in the design, development and growth of new ideas and policies in favor of gender equality and environmental sustainability policies in Spain. Ha’s work researching municipalities supported the company’s strategy to promote an official seal local governments can use. The seal demonstrates an area’s level of gender equity, which ultimately can attract more diverse talent in the labor market and allow organizations to determine where to conduct business.
“Working there was eye opening for me to understand how progressive Spain is and how they actively work to close the gap between genders. It helped me better understand the ways of Spanish government and the impact businesses can make in society,” Ha said.
In addition to her internship, she took courses while abroad. Laurie Miller, associate dean of undergraduate programs and curriculum and associate professor of practice in economics served as Nebraska’s faculty advisor for the summer program Ha completed through the college’s partner program, the Institute for American Universities. Miller noted how Ha’s responsible work ethic and willingness to learn also helped her succeed.
“Jessica was given a lot of autonomy during her internship, and she thrived. When I observed her at the internship, she led the discussion in the office. It was quite apparent how valuable Jessica and her work were to their campaign,” said Miller.
During her time attending the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business, Ha also chose to study abroad in Panama and Japan and received an Outstanding Honors Graduate Award from the University Honors Program. The internship in Spain was her first foot in the door into a professional career setting.
“It gave me the opportunity to truly push myself outside of my comfort zone and learn to adjust to different environments. My time abroad helped me grow into a person who is more understanding and more aware of differences in culture,” Ha said.
Because of her experiences abroad, Ha enjoys communicating with clients around the world as she builds and analyzes digital marketing and advertising campaigns at Dentsu International, a global media, marketing and advertising agency. As an associate for paid search at Dentsu, she manages the delivery of digital ads in search engine advertising and evaluates their success.
“After the internship, I’m still working on my communication skills and strive to be a self-starter. I would tell College of Business students, ‘Don’t let anything hold you back from studying abroad! Your experiences will provide professional and life skills along with priceless memories you’ll cherish forever,’” she said.
To learn more about study and internship abroad opportunities with the College of Business, visit https://business.unl.edu/studyabroad.