Transformative and Unforgettable: Learning Something New with Exposure to Something Different

Nick Repasky reflects on his unforgettable experience interning abroad in Hong Kong and what you can learn about yourself by leaving your comfort zone and exposing yourself to something unfamiliar.

Growing up in suburbia northeast Ohio, the largest city I had spent any extended period of time living in is Columbus.  And here I was, at the Fisher College of Business applying to travel to one to the world’s largest and dynamic cities, in a foreign land I had never been, on the complete opposite side of the earth for 8 weeks.  I knew I had a fascination for travel and knew the business experience abroad would be priceless, but as the departure date got closer and closer I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. I wanted to expose myself to something totally unfamiliar so that I may become comfortable feeling vulnerable, and learn to thrive in those intimidating conditions. I packed up a suitcase, hopped on a plane in Cleveland and nearly 30 relaxing hours of travel later I had arrived in my home for the summer in Hong Kong.

I had my breath taken away by the sheer magnitude of the city as we traveled to our hotel, and it was not long before I began to experience the many things that are different from home.  But thanks to my own open mindedness and experience from the Fisher College of Business and Ohio State, my transition was smooth and successful.  I quickly developed relationships and friendships with my fellow interns and coworkers at the office.  I never wasted a single day as I was determined to learn as much about this part of the world and experience as much of it as I could in my 8 weeks.  From the restless city to the quiet mountains we hiked, I saw views, tried food, and created memories to last a lifetime.

Hiking on a mountain in Lantau

The isolation from home forced me to into seeing my life and the world from a new perspective.  During my seventh week abroad I had the opportunity to present a speech at the Fisher College of Business Hong Kong Alumni Club about my experience where I was accompanied by friends from the Fisher community and even Dean Makhija!  To see the global influence of my school, that no matter how far I travel from home, my Ohio State Buckeyes have made an impact on the world renewed my sense of pride in my school.  As I began to take advantage of these opportunities and excel in my internship, I started to learn more about myself and the potential of my future.

Showing our Buckeye pride with Dean Makhija

The decision to go abroad will forever be one of the best decisions of my life.  The unforgettable memories, new friendships, and new perspective never could have been possible had I not made the commitment and tested my personal boundaries.  I am grateful to have been an ambassador for both my school and my country on a global scale.  I am excited to return home with my new set of skills to help make my home country a better place, and I have a renewed appreciation for all of the comforts that come with living in the USA.  I now have the confidence to take on any challenge and find creative solutions as I navigate my way into my career in business.  I returned home a better version of the same person that left, and my friends and family who know me best can see how much I have grown as a person.  I encourage anyone who is considering traveling abroad to just do it!

Nick Repasky

Nick Repasky is a fourth-year student at Fisher College of Business majoring in accounting and logistics management. During the summer of 2017, Nick spent his time as an intern in Hong Kong on the Summer Global Internship Program.