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    Posted March 12, 2014 by
    New York, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Why study abroad? Ask Michelle Obama

    More from ABlackmon11

    Why Study Abroad? Millennials & Minorities especially need to more than ever in a changing global environment!


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ABlackmon11 wanted to go overseas to broaden her horizons. While at university, she studied in both Spain and Costa Rica. "I learned how to be a better businesswoman, critical thinker and relationship builder in a new culture," she said.
    - Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer

    Ashley is currently a Marketing Analyst in New York at a top global consumer packaged goods company. She graduated with honors from Clark Atlanta University in 2011 with a degree in Business Administration and is also a former Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar. Her first time studying abroad was Spring 2010 in Barcelona at ESEI International Business School. Since then Ashley found herself to be significantly ahead of the curve academically and always seeking a challenge. And even now, she has further grown to appreciate her abroad experience because it can be leveraged in any business conversation whether in the boardroom or networking.


    Ashley says "The five months I spent in Barcelona, Spain were the best five months of my life! It was like I learned how to live all over again. When I first arrived I took baby steps and by mid-February, I was walking then running. Compared to many other study abroad experiences I have heard about, one thing that mine did not lack was freedom. At one point I found myself exploring the city and then country alone and I loved it! In total, I traveled to 8 cities in Spain (Tarragona, Valencia, Madrid, Seville, Malaga, Girona, Alicante, Salou) and 4 other countries in Europe and Morocco. My school was excellent and I have made several lifetime friends from all over the world. I also was able to take part in many cultural experiences such as visiting the headquarters of MANGO, a well known retailer, along with going on excursions and taking flamenco dance lessons.


    Academically, I have found myself to be significantly ahead of the curve and always seeking a challenge. The fact that I equally enjoyed learning about International Economics, International Marketing, and the Spanish language and culture, as much as I enjoyed partying in the streets in Barcelona made a huge difference. Personally, I learned so much about myself and what things drive me to continue to be successful while abroad. I had to teach myself about who I really am and why I am that way in a completely new environment where I was around people who have never met me before. During my career, I constantly engage in conversation about global business operations and I also brought my personal experiences from studying abroad to the table."

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