Student Q&A: Jessica Diaz
Jessica Diaz is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in Spanish. She recently gained an internship at Coca-Cola in Istanbul, Turkey, after completing a GSU study abroad trip there called Media, Journalism and Business in a Global World.
By Leah Seupersad
What made you want to study abroad?
My parents are Colombian, but I was born and raised in Atlanta. I grew up here, but I can also go to Colombia and listen to Spanish music and speak another language. Having that background made me want to learn more about different cultures. The basis of my study abroad program was to show journalism students how the media is portrayed and used in an emerging market and in a country that is completely different from the U.S. in terms of regulations. It also encompassed a business aspect to show how business and communications are tied together.
How did your study abroad trip help you secure your internship? My study abroad experience is the sole reason why I got my internship. I applied for the internship before we came to Turkey, but it wasn't until I was there that I found out Coca-Cola had already completed their selection process. Despite this news I was eager to meet with the employees and express my interest in working at Coca-Cola in Istanbul. The face-to-face interaction I was able to have with the employees is the main reason why everything worked out.
What were your duties during your internship? I was interning in the Eurasia and Africa Group Public Affairs and Communications department, but for the first two weeks I joined the Career Express Zip program. I was there during a huge business plan meeting time. I was able to learn how to engage with outside audiences and make sure they are aware of everything that Coke does. I also got to work with employees internally on how to better prepare them with knowledge about Coca-Cola, such as why would you work for Coke or how to answer people when they ask health-related questions.
What was the most unique part of your experience in Turkey?
The biggest thing in the beginning was the language barrier. Here in the States I speak English and Spanish so I can pretty much communicate with everyone. So being there was the first time I was out of my comfort zone. Towards the end I was able to enjoy the fact that I didn't speak their language, so I would try to learn and speak Turkish, and the people there appreciated that. The most unique aspect of the experience is becoming more globally aware of economics, corporations and people.