Management student spends co-op semester in Paris

May 5, 2011

Marcio Carvalho, BSM '11, at the Sacre Coeur in France.

"I look at everything much more globally now. It's opened my mind more."

Marcio Carvalho, Management ’11

Co-op Employer: Embassy of the United States, Paris, France

This fall, the walk to work for Marcio Carvalho, BSM ’11, included a stroll past the Eiffel Tower before arriving at an office located just next to the Louvre and a stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe. Even after spending a whole semester in Paris, France, for his co-op, the novelty of his surroundings never wore off. “It surprised me pretty much every day,” says Carvalho. “‘Oh wait, I’m in Paris?’ It never got old.”

As an intern at the American Embassy in Paris, Carvalho supported the assistant to the United States Ambassador to France, Charles H. Rivkin. The position involved working in politics, research, and facilities. He was able to contribute to—and become the sole project manager for—the renovation of a suite within the Ambassador’s residence. Carvalho’s responsibilities enabled him to make professional connections, and he continues to maintain contact with both the Ambassador and his assistant. Working in the political offices required Carvalho to follow breaking news stories and send updates to Washington, D.C. “WikiLeaks was a big thing going on while I was there. I would actually get emails from Hillary Clinton, so that was pretty cool.”

In the end, Carvalho found everything he was looking for and more. “I always knew I wanted to go abroad,” says Carvalho, who completed a semester studying abroad in Australia two weeks before starting his co-op in Paris. “I was always the sheltered baby in the family, and I think I surprised both my sister and my parents. They didn’t think I would go through with it, both with Australia and France, but I proved them wrong. And it gave me that greater sense of confidence.”

The experience has changed him. “I look at everything much more globally now. It’s opened my mind.” Carvalho isn’t sure exactly where he will end up next, although San Diego, Lisbon, and Africa are all high on his list. “One thing is for sure though,” says Carvalho. “I have proven to myself that I can go anywhere on my own.”


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