During the 2018 Spring semester, I studied abroad in Rome, Italy. As I immersed myself into a new culture, I learned a great deal about myself and the world around me. I was lucky enough to visit six different European countries and discover my passion for traveling. While abroad, I also decided to take an elective International Business internship course, which focused on the emergence of digital currencies and the future of Blockchain. As a member of the MediaLab program, I committed a minimum of 10 hours per week to my responsibilities and received an “A” for course credit. Additionally, I created weekly journals in order to document my successes, struggles and growth.
As a member of the MediaLab, I worked under the supervision of Marcel Kaminstein, who has extensive experience trading cryptocurrencies and is even in the process of creating his own coin. With Marcel as a mentor, I was able to gain a substantial amount of knowledge about this new and evolving industry. Throughout the semester, I worked on several projects that contributed to my learning. For example, for the first half of the semester, I was busy working on the MediaLab’s BlockChain Project database. The BlockChain Project is a MediaLab initiative that aims to simplify the complicated and ever-changing cryptocurrency world. During this time, I learned about the basics of digital currencies, coin trading and how this industry will affect my future.
The second half of my semester was spent preparing for “Rome Startup Week,” where ambassadors from around the world were invited to attend a conference about Blockchain. During the months leading up to the event, my team and I dedicated several hours per week researching different countries and their various perspectives on cryptocurrencies. The result was a pre-edited book with up-to-date summaries of the laws and regulations regarding digital currencies in over 25 countries. This booklet was advertised and sold (Pre-Release) at the Rome Startup Week conference. At the event, I was given the opportunity to network with ambassadors from Haiti, France and other parts of the world.
Rome Startup Week was just one of many events at which I had the opportunity to network. About twice a month, my mentor would invite business professionals to Temple Rome to discuss the secrets to their success. At these events, I learned about entrepreneurship and the importance of strategic planning. As a MediaLab representative, I was expected to present myself professionally and network with these guests.
Being that I am a MIS major, I believe Blockchain is extremely relevant and crucial to understand. The phenomenon is quite literally transforming the way that technology is used in the workplace. That being said, I am extremely grateful for my time as a member of the MediaLab and for all of the knowledge I gained while working in an international setting. I am proud to say that, because of this experience, I developed new technical skills, gained a global perspective, strengthened my professionalism.