Lyndsi Jones graduated from Towson University in the Spring of 2017 with a degree in Mass Communication and a minor in Marketing. She studied abroad on a TU exchange program with the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Lyndsi now works as the Communications and Outreach Coordinator and the Fund for Education Abroad in Washington, D.C.
Would you mind giving a brief description of yourself? Like where you’re from, educational background, things like that?
I’m from two small towns in Maryland, one in Southern Maryland and one in Eastern Maryland. I moved to Towson when I was 17 where I got my degree in Mass Communications with a minor in Marketing. I also worked as a Study Abroad Peer Advisor while I was at Towson, and it was through talking with the people in the office that I became interested in the field of International Education.
Where did you study abroad and what did you study while you were there?
I studied at the University of Leeds on a TU exchange program. I took three classes: Critical Theories of Media, Communications, and Global Development Challenges. It’s funny because that class was the first internationally-focused class I had ever taken, and now I’m in such an international field.
What inspired you in the first place to study abroad in the first place?
It definitely wasn’t something I had always planned to do. I’m a first generation college student, so no one in my family had studied abroad before. I grew up in very small towns and I always was very interested in cities, so naturally I wanted to explore more. I also didn’t speak another language, so although I know now that it’s possible, I assumed I would have to go somewhere where they spoke English. At the time Towson didn’t offer any exchanges in London, so Leeds seemed like the next best option. I ended up loving it.
Were there any things that you encountered once you arrived that surprised you or that you wish you had been more prepared for ahead of time?
Not really anything that I was surprised by, but I wasn’t prepared for how alone you feel those first few days after you arrive. But after I started orientation on the second day, I actually met someone who is still one of my best friends to this day. So after that first week or so you’ll be fine!
So right now you’re working for the Fund for Education abroad? What’s your position there and what are your responsibilities there?
My position at the Fund for Education abroad is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator. There’s only three of us in the office, and we fund hundreds of students. A usual day for me included reviewing applications, checking emails (usually morning I log on every morning to at least 50 emails). Since I’m the Communications and Outreach Coordinator, I also manage social media and coordinate press releases.
Do you think there are any experiences you had abroad that help you in your position now?
I think independence is a big one. Working with a small staff means you have to be self-directed most of the time. Study Abroad also forced me to get out of my shell more, so now when I have to do outreach or talk to people over the phone I’m a lot more comfortable.
In your interview , how did you describe you SA experience? Do you have any advice for marketing your study abroad experience to potential employers?
Funny enough, talking about study abroad actually ended up derailing my interview a little bit because I my interviewer and I got caught up reminiscing about our experiences abroad together. I think we all have something that we’re passionate about, and employers like when you’re passionate about what you do.So if you can translate your excitement surrounding your time into your interview, I think that helps you stand out to a potential employer.
I would also say it’s good to prepare direct examples of times while you were abroad that taught you a skill that would be valuable in the job you’re applying for. Like when a time you had to find a solution to a problem on your own or a time that taught you how to be more independent. Being to present these concrete examples shows employers that you’re prepared and serious about the position.