Posted on Friday, May 30, 2014
Talia Azour '16 has a passion for working abroad, and with the help of the Bickley Family Endowed International Internship Fund, she is pursuing her dream this summer with the digital marketing firm IgnitionOne in both New York City and London.
Established in 2012, the Bickley Award that Azour has received is made possible by a gift from Ian and Kimberly Bickley P'14. The fund is used to supplement classroom education with internship experience, in retail or consumer industries, abroad or with a U.S. company's international division. The award is presented to one HWS student each year.
"The Bickley family and HWS have truly given me the opportunity to have an experience of a lifetime this summer," says Azour, a double major in international relations and sociology. "The Bickley family, along with the support of HWS and all the faculty and staff who helped me along the way, have truly made this a possibility. I am very proud to be a student at HWS, surrounded by the wonderful people that make this institution as magnificent as it is."
Azour will spend the first two weeks of her internship at the IgnitionOne headquarters in New York City, transitioning to their London offices for seven weeks to complete her internship abroad.
IgnitionOne offers digital marketing solutions, in which they seek to optimize media across search engines, social media and mobile devices to create the most efficient outcomes for their clients. HWS Trustee Will Margiloff '92 is CEO of IgnitionOne, and co-CEO and founder of IgnitionOne's parent company, Innovation Interactive.
Much of Azour's internship will be spent working in the marketing division, where she will be tasked with assisting in trade events and conferences, as well as contributing to marketing materials like case studies and whitepapers. In London, she will contribute to their digital marketing, communications, and public relation efforts that target the company's audience in the United Kingdom.
"Working for IgnitionOne internationally this summer will allow me to understand the business culture in Europe and benefit from my professional preparation for a career in international marketing," Azour says. "I will take these valuable skills and use them along my path towards marketing and advertising abroad."
Not only will she learn about business culture in a foreign country, but she will also acquire industry specific skills, such as developing detailed marketing plans, performing market and competitive research, and coordinating with internal departments to respond quickly to stakeholder needs.
Though Azour will have to adjust to a new workplace environment and business culture in London, she already has experience when it comes to adapting to the norms of a foreign country. Last summer, Azour worked abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel, through the Collegiate Leadership Institute Program Onward Israel.
"My time in Israel allowed me to experience different cultural expectations of the workplace," she says. "That experience prepared me to go abroad again, as I will face similar challenges in adapting to a new culture while in London."
Azour also believes the skills she's garnered throughout her time at HWS will be useful as she applies them to her time abroad. On campus, Azour is a residential assistant, tour guide, and a student worker for the Office of Student Activities and the Bristol Field House. She also is a chair of the Colleges Against Cancer Committee and an active member of the Hillel community.
In the spring 2015, Azour plans to study abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she will have the opportunity to take classes in European studies that will relate to her experiences in London this summer.
"I cannot wait for the amazing journey ahead of me," says Azour. "By working for IgnitionOne this summer, I will fulfill a critical part of my vision that will continue in my occupational plan for the future."