Mary Novoa Secures Midwestern Internship While Studying in Belgium
Mary Novoa Secures Midwestern Internship While Studying in Belgium

Junior Mary Novoa went the distance when earning her internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Literally.

The accounting major and finance minor is studying abroad in Brussels at Vesalius University. She began the application process before she left for Europe but secured her summer 2018 internship in PwC’s Kansas City office while in Belgium.

“I had always dreamed of working for a Big Four company like PricewaterhouseCoopers,” the Omaha native says. “I knew that going abroad would make landing an internship a bit more difficult, but I wasn’t going to let something like distance discourage me.”

Novoa began to doubt the success of her initial application to PwC; weeks had gone by with no response. Then, as she was walking to class a continent away, she received an email requesting a virtual interview. She “met” with three PwC representatives, and the next day she was offered a position with its assurance division. She is looking forward to the on-the-job training and the chance to experience once again the real-world accounting practices she first encountered this past summer as an account services intern at Lozier Corporation.

But Novoa is not looking to the future quite yet; she still has her time in Europe to relish. She chose Brussels because she wanted a truly unique study abroad experience, without the safety net of having other Creighton students enrolled in an American program with her. As a result, she feels she has “grown tremendously as a person by becoming more independent and getting to appreciate life outside of the United States.”

Novoa enjoys the academic exchange that results from the diverse perspectives of her international classmates. In a course on global leadership, she is exploring how social, ethical and cultural change has affected leaders in history. In an intercultural communications class, she has learned how one’s country of origin and culture shape his or her actions, including communication.

“It is fascinating for me to hear the different perspectives of the students from other countries and learn their views about leaders in today’s society,” Novoa says. “One of my best friends here is from Germany, and I find making friendships with people from other cultures extremely rewarding as well.”

Sometimes students with an interest in studying abroad feel they cannot carve the time out of their schedules to spend a semester away from Creighton without delaying graduation. But Novoa believes it is possible. Even while in Brussels, she has been in contact with her accounting advisors and other Heider professors so she is prepared to return to Creighton’s accounting classroom this spring.

“Even being in another country, they still take time to reply and help me with whatever assistance I need,” Novoa says. “If studying abroad is something that you are passionate about, then Creighton will do everything that is necessary to make sure it can fit into your schedule without impacting your graduation process.”