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Employer Advice from Orange County Projectors

Scott Nguyen is founder of Orange County Projectors and a staff member at Mercer, a human resources consulting firm. While studying at the University of California, Irvine, Nguyen participated in a number of study abroad opportunities and worked as an intern at various businesses. Here are his thoughts on service learning:

“Going abroad has had a tremendously effect on my career in many senses. The first time I studied abroad was in Shanghai, China and the biggest career take I got out of it was that I am not limited to work only in the United States. Growing up, going to school in the US, I felt that this is where my skills and knowledge will be most applicable but after my experience learning about business and the culture in Shanghai, I realized that these skills I’ve gained through schooling and my work experience here can be applied to many career paths abroad.

“Through this realization, I applied to study abroad again in Vietnam and, upon acceptance to the program, I began applying for internships. I landed a great opportunity to apply my real estate knowledge–I’m a licensed California real estate agent–to the Vietnamese market. I interned for the top international real estate firm, CB Richard Ellis, for seven months as a research and consulting analyst.

“Upon graduation from college, the idea of returning to Vietnam or China in the real estate industry was always an option. However, I wanted to develop my corporate skills in the U.S. and apply them abroad at a more senior level. The skills that I gained performing analytical work as an intern in Vietnam help me to gain my current position as an analyst at the top human resources consulting firm, Mercer.

“Atop being a life changing experience, going abroad was a career changing experience for me and I would recommend it for anyone who feels limited in their career choices.”

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