Whitman Student Learns to Be Bold While Studying Abroad

Maya Padula ’23 (WHIT/MAX) took a step out of her comfort zone last semester and spent her first time outside the U.S studying abroad at Syracuse University’s London Center. This experience for personal growth not only allowed her to see more of the world but also navigate new opportunities.

Choosing the London Center as her study abroad destination was an easy decision. Being her first time abroad, she knew she wanted to still feel a sense of home in the new culture. For her, London fulfilled those requirements. Padula says, “I wanted to be able to experience travel without stretching myself too thin. London felt like a comfortable place, and I was excited to experience living in a major metropolitan city.”

The finance, supply chain management and policy studies triple major was able to take a variety of courses during her semester abroad. In addition to the arts and science electives she took, Padula was enrolled in a couple of business courses, as well. 

One of the courses she chose to enroll in was Associate Professor of Management Catherine Maritan’s one-credit course Business in London. Maritan offered this course to give students the opportunity to view the city through a business lens, take on their own research and visit area businesses, such as London’s financial center and the historical retail center.

Padula says, “I chose to take this course because I saw it as a great way to connect my study abroad experience with what I had been pursuing at Whitman. I was also so passionate about my research project and so thankful I had the opportunity to look further into a London-related business issue that truly had me engaged.”

The project Padula was able to dive into consisted of how Brexit would impact the financial center in London in the current world. With London being Europe’s financial center, she felt this topic was the best for fulfilling her personal interests, connecting back to her finance major and learning more about the city she was studying in. Padula was fascinated with learning how specific events, such as Brexit, unfold and impact countries differently, not only the U.K.

Padula also enjoyed traveling and exploring outside London. During the semester, she was able to attend a school trip to learn more about the history of Edinburgh, Scotland, along with visiting Paris, Venice and Dublin with friends. 

However, Padula found joy in exploring on her own, as well, and shares that those trips were her favorite memories. By pushing herself to find the courage to go on these adventures, she was able to schedule a tour at the Bloomberg London office, the same company she interned for this summer in New York City. Reaching out to her recruiter to schedule this tour was something she never imagined herself finding the courage to do until she was abroad. And, with a keen interest in Shakespeare, Padula knew it was crucial to travel to Stratford-on-Avon, the playwright’s birthplace. 

“If I had not found the courage to be bold, I would never have experienced many of the sights, lessons and memories I gained while abroad,” she says. “Moving forward, I will always remember that my favorite experiences were the ones where I took a step out of my comfort zone.”

Martin J. Whitman School of Management offers many global opportunities for students. Learn more about Whitman students and their experiences. 

Anna Rooney