Study Abroad Helps Alum Land First Job

Red Telephone box and Big Ben

From the Great Wall of China to the glittering spires of the Eiffel Tower, hundreds of students from the Marriott School participate in study abroad programs each year. We recently caught up with Matt Mantyla, a 2012 information systems graduate, to talk about how his experiences abroad helped him prepare for the workforce.

Which study abroad program did you do?

I participated in the Europe Business Study Abroad program in the summer of 2012. We visited a lot of different companies and got to see how each organization dealt with business decisions internationally.

What were some of the differences you noticed while touring companies in Europe?

We had the opportunity to tour CISCO’s office just outside of Paris. Because it is an American company, they work more of an American schedule. One thing I noticed while in Paris is that most French companies took off a few weeks during the summer for vacations. It was fun to see the cultural differences.

You went overseas again this summer. Why?

I spent this last summer working in London training for my new job with the Royal Bank of Scotland, an international banking and financial services company. I spent my time learning and meeting people from all over the world.

There were about thirty of us in London for two months of training with the technology department. My colleagues came from all over the world, including China, Indonesia, Latvia, Finland, and Nigeria. It was great to interact with these people and learn about so many different cultures.

Do you feel that your study abroad program helped you prepare for your new job?

If I hadn’t gone abroad the previous summer it would have been a difficult decision for me to take this job, let alone train in London for two months. It helped me keep an open mind to other cultures and be more aware of those around me.

Mantyla, who now works for RBS in Taylorsville, Utah, joined the ranks of more than 6.4 million Americans that have chosen to work or study outside of the country. We want to read about your international experiences. Submit them here and we might feature you on the blog.

To learn more about other Marriott School alumni working abroad read “World Market” in the fall issue of Marriott Alumni Magazine.