Mary (Pyne) Struzska-Tyamayev ’13 majored in International Studies and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies with a certificate in European Studies. She was a summer 2012 intern at USIT, a work and travel company in Dublin, Ireland, and also studied abroad in Argentina. She is currently the director of the Center for Global Education at Simmons University in Boston, MA.
How did your IIP internship experience influence your current path?
It became my career! The IIP experience itself and my internship in Dublin opened the world (pun intended) of international education and exchange for me. I learned that creating global experiences, experiences of discovery and growth for others was a profession, a profession I have been in for the last 7 years.
After some years to reflect, what were some highlights or key takeaways from your IIP internship?
The basics I learned around intercultural communication and workplaces, both from the coursework during IIP and in the workplace, really shape how I engage with people to this day. I had no idea that there was a whole discipline around these things before IIP.
Why should undergraduates consider interning abroad?
Professional growth and learning happens at the crossroads of your studies and experiences. Seeing how a business is run, a patient is seen, or research is done in a different country and cultural settings will give you the perspective and the ability to innovate, something that others may not have.
What message or advice do you have for students preparing to intern abroad?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take advantage of all the opportunities available. You never know where that will take you!
Is there any custom, food, tradition from your host country that you still enjoy now?
I still can’t shake saying “Thanks a million”- something that I picked up in Dublin!
Watch Mary reflect on her Ireland internship and goal to work in international education back in 2013 before her graduation:
In honor of the International Internship Program’s 10th Anniversary, we will be bringing you profiles of IIP alumni who have interned all over the world! Find more alumni profiles here.