LDI student continues to connect and grow professionally through extended internship.
By meGAN SMITH, PROPOSAL WRITER
You may be aware of the numerous misconceptions about study abroad programs, such as:
- Study abroad won’t count as course credit. …
- It’s just a semester of partying or backpacking trip through Europe. …
- It’s better to travel or intern abroad during the summer or work abroad after graduation. …
- Employers don’t value study abroad.
Lucy Greaney nearly succumbed to these misconceptions when she first came to Miami University. Lucy had gleaned that the most popular study abroad program was in Luxembourg at the Miami University Dolibois European Center (MUDEC), but she was concerned that a semester spent abroad would be a step back from her studies.
“I was very conflicted about studying abroad because I saw it as taking a semester off,” Lucy said. “I thought that it would put me behind.”
As an entrepreneurship and journalism major, Lucy was looking for opportunities to sharpen her career focus while completing her undergraduate requirements. Lucy joined The Miami Student as staff writer in March 2019 and became an Armstrong Student Center Ambassador in April 2019. But when Lucy learned about Miami’s Luxembourg Digital Innovation (LDI) program, she knew that she had to apply.
Lucy was accepted into the spring 2020 LDI program and was hired as an editorial intern for City Savvy Luxembourg Media (CSL). CSL is a digital and print media company that creates content for English-speaking expatriates residing in Luxembourg.
“I chose this company because I wanted to work for a company that aligned with both my entrepreneurship and journalism degrees,” Lucy said. “This was the perfect internship because I was able to build skills in so many different areas including writing, design, sales, business development, and event planning.”
Lucy reported to Amanda Roberts, who is the owner and managing director of CSL, as well as an LDI capstone instructor at MUDEC. Lucy and Amanda worked together at CSL’s office in Differdange at 1535° Creative Hub. Although CSL produces English language content, Lucy had to call upon her high school French lessons to communicate with her colleagues and clients.
“Working in the startup environment with a focus on relationship-building can be an even bigger challenge abroad. I was faced with times where I had to push myself to use the French that I learned in high school to make essential connections.”– Lucy on how she supported her internship company
Lucy’s purpose in her internship was to build a website for LUX WMN Magazine, CSL’s sister company. After accomplishing her initial charge during the first week, Lucy spent the remainder of the semester writing content for all of CSL’s platforms, managing social media pages, designing slide decks, pitching to investors and advertisers, and planning events.
“The Luxembourg startup environment is small, but powerful,” Lucy explained. “There are huge corporations that have headquarters in Luxembourg, and this brings a lot of expats into the picture. Just in my first week of my internship, I was interviewing a cancer survivor from Ireland who moved to Luxembourg because of her job. It was awesome to learn about what hiring an expat means for large corporations. The United States is a melting pot, but working in Luxembourg takes it to the next level.”
While working in Luxembourg, Lucy found unlikely connections in her professional network in spite of cultural differences or language barriers. Lucy recalls one occasion when she accompanied Amanda to a face-to-face meeting with the marketing director for the Rockhal, a renowned concert venue in southern Luxembourg which hosts regional and international acts.
“My boss let me go with her to meet the marketing director and sell advertisements to them, and I was able to build rapport with him about his love for roller coasters and Cedar Point,” Lucy said.
Lucy was a month and a half into her internship when she heard that a friend studying abroad in Rome was being sent home. COVID-19 was officially labeled as a global pandemic in March 2020 and precautions were being taken around the world to slow the spread. The idea of being sent home from Luxembourg loomed over Lucy and her peers for weeks before MUDEC suspended onsite classes and programs to protect students, staff, and faculty.
Although the onsite components of classes and programs in Luxembourg were discontinued, Lucy feels lucky to have carried on her CSL internship remotely from her home in Avon, Ohio. Lucy stayed connected to CSL and the Luxembourg culture by running social media accounts, writing and editing content, and more.
“My internship experience has changed because events are being canceled and businesses are closed,” Lucy said. “This presents a challenge for my office, but it allows me to be creative in my approach to work tasks. I’m still working full-time from home and connecting with co-workers daily. It has been a challenge to go from being around an energetic team of innovators to being all alone in my home.”
In addition to her remote summer internship work, Lucy has also supported her local Starbucks as a part-time employee.
“I’m still working at Starbucks, which has been a ride with COVID-19,” Lucy said. “But it gives me a great opportunity to dive deeper into customer service work and to see how it fuels the community.”
At the end of the semester, many LDI program participants bid farewell to their internship companies, but not Lucy. As a result of her hard work in the LDI program, she was asked to stay on through the summer. Lucy has been spending her summer break maintaining CSL’s social media accounts and writing numerous articles each week, many of which will appear in a LUX WMN Magazine print publication scheduled for release in late September 2020. Lucy is also sharing insights from her internship experience with other companies.
“I’ve been approached by the executive director of CapSource to write an article about experiential learning for their site,” Lucy said. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to write for a company with an executive director on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Education.”
Lucy has big plans for her next semester at Miami. She has recently accepted a part-time remote position with CSL for the fall 2020 semester. She will also work as design editor for Miami Quarterly Magazine for the 2020-2021 school year, an opportunity which Lucy attributes to her time spent in Luxembourg.
“I was upset when we were sent home, but I knew that it was only for our own safety,” Lucy explained. “I think it is important to stay optimistic when things like this happen, and I know that Europe will always be there for me to return to. Luckily, I had a great experience in the time while I was abroad, and I already have plans to return on my own time to visit my boss and other network connections that I made.”
Student ProfileName: Lucy Greaney
Graduation year: 2022
Major: Entrepreneurship and journalism
Minor: Digital Innovation
Hometown/state: Avon (Cleveland), Ohio
For information on how to support the MUDEC campaign, please contact:
Jill Gaby ’91
Assistant Vice President of Development, Regional Programs
Mike Scott ’09
Senior Director of Development, Regional Programs