This summer’s posts feature University of Utah students’ experiences in spring and summer internships.
Marina Riddle, graduating in December 2025, with majors in Marketing and Business Administration & Management.
During the Fall of 2022, my first semester at the University of Utah, I decided to take a leap and send in my application to intern abroad. Interning abroad was always something I was interested in, but I was too afraid to take the leap, or too overwhelmed when I thought of the finances involved in moving to another country. Despite my apprehension, I took advantage of the opportunity, and I am incredibly grateful that I did. Taking the leap to intern abroad was one of the best decisions I have made throughout my college career. The valuable professional experiences and friendships I gained during my internship will be things I carry with me throughout the rest of my life.
This summer, I interned for a nonprofit in London called One Young World. One Young World’s mission is to identify, empower, and build young leaders around the world who are working towards positive change. They do this by funding young leaders’ projects around the globe and convening individuals from over 190 countries each year to discuss the world’s most pressing problems at an annual summit. They have funded projects like imagi, an ed tech gaming startup founded to abolish the gender gap in coding in Hungary, and Play Malawi, which educates young Malawians on sexual and reproductive health and non-communicable diseases. I met some of the most inspiring people during my time in London, and I learned some very valuable lessons.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I arrived in Leicester Square on my first day of work. I was overwhelmed by the big city; it made me feel small. I was also nervous to meet new people and start over with new processes, systems, and expectations. However, I was welcomed with open arms from the moment I stepped into the office, and I had the chance to contribute to some very meaningful work. One of the projects I am most proud to contribute to is the Climate Action Award: a fund awarding over 100,000 USD to two young entrepreneurs pioneering work in climate action.
Learning Through Conversation
I gained a lot of valuable professional experience through my work, but I learned the most from the conversations I shared with colleagues in my office. I worked with people from all over the world, and learning about their backgrounds and cultures was incredible. I worked with individuals from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Taiwan, Bosnia, France, etc., and hearing different perspectives from around the world was enlightening. Over the span of 10 weeks, I gained many friends and a better understanding of international business relations.
Learning About Myself
I came to London alone. I had no friends or family members in the city. Since I didn’t know anyone in the city, I spent a lot of time doing things alone, which was very far out of my comfort zone. I went to plays, movies, and dinner by myself, and I even visited Ireland as a solo traveler. It was all very scary at first, but in doing things alone, I learned so much about myself. Eventually, I made many friends and realized I am more than capable of creating a life for myself somewhere new. I grew up in Utah, and although I constantly dreamed of someday living somewhere else, I was always afraid I couldn’t make it happen. My internship abroad taught me that I can absolutely move out of Utah and start a life somewhere new. It also taught me that I can do uncomfortable things.
I encourage everyone to take a risk and apply for an internship abroad. I realize this may not feel within financial reach for many students, but there are so many scholarship opportunities available.