Splendido! Study Abroad Turns into Lasting Sales Internship

When Communication junior Sienna Mohl left for her Made In Italy study abroad last May, she didn’t realize her six-week trip would turn into an entire summer in Europe.

Mohl came into contact with European travel company bus2alps by chance. Due to her organizational skills, she was informally assigned the role of event planner for her group. However, when she discovered it was expensive and difficult to plan weekend trips around Europe for 19 people she turned to the tour company and became a regular customer of their Rome office. Weeks later, they offered her a sales internship for the month of July. Mohl quickly accepted the offer, changed her flight and began working the day after her study abroad trip ended.

A Summer Spent on European Tours

SM(Resized).jpgMohl spent her weeks selling trips online and in person, meeting with students studying abroad, coordinating trips and representing the company at promotional events. On weekends, she joined her co-workers as a trainee guide while leading students on trips through Europe. She was also involved in long-term planning and shaping the company’s vision for the future. By the end of the month, she was one of the Rome team’s top sellers.

“I loved helping kids just like me who wanted to make the most out of their study abroad experience and see as much of Europe as possible,” Mohl said. “Taking groups to places like Tuscany and Switzerland still feels like a dream.”

Mohl believes she was asked to return because she was passionate about her role and dedicated to learning from her co-workers.

“I came into the internship 100% motivated and ready to learn,” Mohl said. “I woke up each day genuinely excited to be there, making sure I came to work fully present with a positive attitude and an open mind. I felt really grateful for the opportunity to be there and didn’t want to waste a single day.”

Building Sales Skills on and off Campus

Mohl believes her Sales Leadership minor helped her gain the skills she needed to be successful at bus2alps.

“I have learned a lot about relationship building, the importance of genuine storytelling and my personal selling style,” Mohl said. “I learned how to discover needs and, in turn, provide a solution.”

Her study abroad program built upon the skills she learned in her minor, specifically by helping her develop a deeper understanding of intercultural communication and sales, a key component of what made her so successful last summer.

“It was because of what I had just learned from my professors and courses in Rome that I was confident in my abilities and prepared to do my best at this dream of an internship,” Mohl said.

>Before her internship, Mohl gained public speaking and logistic skills on campus as an MSU tour guide supervisor for the Office of Admissions and the Resident Education and Housing Services outreach office. She is also involved in the Global Sales Leadership Society, MSU Telecasters, Department of Theatre’s Theatre2Film project and recently starred in MSU student-made film, “On the Way Up”. Mohl believes her college and travel blog, which offers tips on how to travel on a budget, also gave her an edge.

Taking the Leap into the Unknown

Mohl encourages students interested in studying and interning abroad to expand their horizons by pursuing an opportunity in a different country.

“Just go for it and step out of your comfort zone,” Mohl said. “The thought of leaving everything that is familiar to you and heading to a foreign country can be overwhelming. Be open-minded, start getting comfortable being uncomfortable and live in the moment.”

Mohl said her experience abroad taught her far more than a textbook ever could.

“This experience is truly priceless and it would be a shame to let the nerves keep you from missing out,” Mohl said. “You’re capable of much, much more than you can even imagine.”

Mohl will be returning to work for the company next summer to continue her role in sales and is currently bus2alps’ first MSU ambassador.

By Rianna N. Middleton