Junior finds co-op in Singapore transformative

Amelia Marksz was a stranger to travel abroad until she embarked on her first international co-op in Singapore last year. Ever since, the junior marketing major at Northeastern University has been hooked, discovering a newfound affinity for other cultures.

In September, she will head to Beijing to work in the marketing offices of the United States Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the International Trade Administration, in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Marksz can’t wait.

Pursuing a global co-op experience “was one of the best moves I’ve ever made,” said Marksz. “Instead of simply traveling, you’re actually living and working in an international locale. It’s such a great opportunity to learn while experiencing the world.”

She completed her first international co-op last July, working for Investor Central, a small financial news company in Singapore that delivers information via mobile and Web platforms.

“I had my hands in every aspect of marketing,” she said.

For her first project, as event planner for the Asian Trader and Investor Convention, she did everything from designing and arranging the trade-show booth to creating marketing collateral, to preparing a speech and PowerPoint for the company’s founder.

After her successes with the trade show, she was quickly given other responsibilities in a position encompassing marketing, advertising, communications, event planning and public and customer relations.

At one point, she found herself standing before a downtown financial building, in front of a television camera, broadcasting a financial news story. “I really enjoyed it. I don’t think of broadcast as something I’m interested in, but the public-speaking aspect to the work made it a great experience for me.”

People on the street stood and watched her broadcast, offering positive comments when the filming was complete.

Back at the office, Marksz initiated a Google advertising campaigns for the company and also pioneered the company’s use of social networks for marketing.

Aside from the work, her life abroad was fulfilling on many levels.

“Singapore itself is beautiful. The people are very friendly. I didn’t have any culture shock,” she said. “There was so much to do there that I never had a dull moment.”