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Discovering the world

As a kid, Maryam Talieh received a pre­scient piece of advice from her dad, who was born in Iran and grew up in England.

“The best way to learn about the world,” he told his daughter, “is to go out and be in the world.”

Last fall, Talieh, now a 21-​​year-​​old junior soci­ology major at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, acted on her father’s words of wisdom.

From Sep­tember to December, the Saratoga, Calif., native served as a lead­er­ship pro­gram coor­di­nator on co-​​op for the Paris-​​based Safran Group, a high-​​technology con­glom­erate with core busi­nesses in aero­space, defense and security.

In her role, Talieh booked hotels, set up busi­ness sim­u­la­tions and orga­nized cul­tural events for more than three dozen junior-​​level man­agers within Safran. “When I applied for the posi­tion at Safran, I thought I would be doing paper­work and filing, but I was sur­prised by the amount of respon­si­bility the job entailed,” she said.

Talieh also had the oppor­tu­nity to polish her foreign-​​language skills, which include fluent Spanish and con­ver­sa­tional French. As she put it, “I learned more French in Paris in a few months than I had in three semes­ters in class.”

The experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­nity con­vinced Talieh to expand her career out­look and seek out another inter­na­tional co-​​op in hos­pi­tality at a Hong Kong hotel for the fall semester. “Now there’s a chance to do some­thing I never expected,” she explained.

Like her dad, she encour­aged all stu­dents to work or study abroad for at least one semester. “You may never get this oppor­tu­nity again,” Talieh said. “Go see the world because it’s absolutely worth it.”

– by Jason Kornwitz

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