Our next Student Spotlight is focused on Sophia Prouty. She is currently a Junior here at Nichols College and plans to graduate in December 2020. Sophia is an Economics major with a minor in International Business. She is from Thompson, CT and while at school she is involved with the Institute of Women’s Leadership (IWL), Model UN Club, the Emerging Leaders program, President of Prism club, Vice President of the History club, in the Honors program, and a part of Zeta Alpha Phi.
Outside of her busy schedule, she enjoys reading books with a strong female lead, does embroidery, and works at the YMCA in Child Watch. Sophia has four dogs – Beanie, Mr. Jingles, Kissy, and Stevie as well as a hedgehog named Kimchi Bums.
Over the summer she completed an experiential internship abroad while working with her cousin. She traveled to Dublin, Ireland and was a Researcher and Assistant at farmers markets for her cousins’ company, Olivieri’s Fine Italian Foods. The company was considering bringing their products to America and Sophia helped research good areas that would be profitable and have a relevant demand for their products. She was also able to go into the farmers markets and help sell Olivieri’s products to local consumers.
For her experience abroad, Sophia lived with a host family, a mother and daughter. She was assigned tasks by her employer and while working from home, she was able to research different areas, look at various documents and help out as much as needed.
When speaking with Sophia, she mentioned that her favorite thing during her 2 weeks abroad, was meeting the different kinds of people at the farmers market. She said, “The markets are not just where you go to buy food, it is a social aspect over there, everyone knew each other”. In comparison to the markets over here, she wished they were more popular in America as it truly allows local communities to come together and connect while also supporting local businesses.
After speaking with Sophia, she told us that her biggest takeaway was to definitely do an internship and get the real world experience. She had so much fun and the experience is all about what you make it. In addition, she gave some advice to fellow students. She said to have faith in yourself. If she did not reach out to her cousin, she would not have had this opportunity. She had the faith and confidence in herself and talked highly about how that is a vital piece as you move forward in life and future opportunities.
With Sophia’s background focusing in International Business and Economics, an international internship gave her a new insight into what she was learning at school. Sophia mentioned how her professor helped inspire her to reach out and do a global internship because he had always talked about his experiences in the classroom. Also, by interning abroad, it gave her a whole new perspective of the global economy and what it is like working outside of the US market systems. When she returned back to school with this new experience and knowledge, she found it easier to conceptualize and apply situations they discussed in class, to a real world application.
While abroad, Sophia had the opportunity to go to the European Google Headquarters with her host family and was able to see the difference between corporate environments abroad versus small businesses abroad. Personally, she favors small businesses because you are not only helping out your community and local entrepreneur’s, but are also more aware of where your products are coming from. With only 2 short weeks abroad, Sophia received plenty of good insight and gained real world experience which reinforced her education as well as helped her understand what type of work environment she prefers.
We greatly appreciate Sophia for her time and sharing this wonderful experience with us. We wish you the best of luck in the semester!