Northeastern marketing major Bethany O’Meara did a lot more than spin her wheels on co-op with French bicycle-tour company Cyclomundo.
She revamped the company website to appeal to English-speaking clients, wrote press releases and promotional material, and pitched the company’s environmentally friendly travel to potential clients.
A highlight was handling press inquiries after the New York Times published an article that thrust the small operation in the French Alpine region into the limelight. O’Meara stepped up, fielding press and customer calls and honing her communications skills.
It was, says O’Meara, an unparalleled way to develop independence and confidence. Back on campus to finish her senior year, the Southington, Conn., native is energized, believing that her marketing skills can open doors for her anywhere in the world, and that she has learned how to adapt to another culture.
“Working abroad taught me to live and work independently,” she says. “It’s the most independent you can be without graduating and being in the ‘real world’: I supported myself, bought all my food, cooked all my meals, and arranged for all my travel. I became more confident in so many ways.”
O’Meara’s six-month stay wasn’t all work. She managed a couple of excursions on her company-issued bicycle, and greatly improved her spoken language through daily chats with her landlords, two real estate agents.
“Before I went to France, I had a high competence in French, but low confidence,” she says. “Living there, I became quicker at understanding and speaking rapid French.”
Prior to her position at Cyclomundo, O’Meara held co-ops at Commonwealth Museum (January to June 2007) and MFS Management (January to June 2008).