Study Abroad Student Profile
Majors and minors:
Finance, International Business, and a minor in Philosophy
Engagement on campus:
Rugby, Ice Hockey, LEAP (Leaders for Environmental Awareness and
Protection), CoB Student Ambassador, and Alpha Kappa Psi.
Internship with Humana
Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Semester in New Zealand, faculty-led trip to Belgium, and faculty-led trip to Chile.
Describe the location you studied abroad for someone who has never been there: Chile is phenomenal, we learned so much about a diverse group of industries. We visited the largest copper mine in the world and hiked the largest active volcano in South America. The country is so large and has such a diverse set of climates. They have a tradition meal that involves a bunch of meat stacked on a heater and it’s outstanding. Watch out for the piscolas, they’ll get you. It has a very untouched feel.
Why did you chose your program?
I chose each for different reasons. I chose Chile because I really wanted to push myself to spend more time in a non-English speaking or European country and it fulfilled the International Business requirement.
How did you afford an international experience?
The costs weren’t that much more than regular costs at UC. I worked in my spare time and summers, but my parents helped out too.
Has study abroad changed who you are as a person? If so, in what ways?
Totally, I don’t know where I’d be without the experiences and friends I’ve made along the way. I’ve met people from all over the world, I had classmates from places like Iran, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, and countless other places. I can honestly say that people are people and the majority just want to have a good life, make friends, learn as much as they can, and leave a better place for their kids. Most are also up for a pint after class. You don’t get that growing up in the Midwest.
What professional networking did you do while abroad?
The word I despise most in the English language is ‘networking’. Mostly, because the whole concept implies that everyone who is networking is trying to get something from you with the least amount of effort while doing the least in return. Make friends! Call it friendshiping if you like. If you make friends they’re much more likely to help you and you them. I learned to have conversations with a goal of liking the other person. When you like them there is a real relationship that you can carry forward throughout life. I’ve gotten people jobs and my next job will come from a friend in the industry.
What professional skills did you gain while abroad?
The two things I learned that have benefited me the most are the stories to tell people and the ability to work with people from completely different countries. The experiences have allowed me to make new friends and work well with them in professional settings.
How has study abroad influenced you career path?
More than anything it’s given me a comfort level to just go with the flow. I went to grad school abroad and am still out of the country (I’m in Toronto now). After working for a couple of years in Cincinnati, I went to grad school in London. Then wanting to learn more about water, I did another masters jointly between a school in Holland and a school in Scotland. I spent 3 years doing grad school and probably wouldn’t have done that without having studied abroad first.
It also showed me that money isn’t the end all and be all. I have a career where no matter what I’m doing, I’m helping improve people’s water situation and that means something to me. Business with a purpose matters a lot to me and it’s why I chose an industry that wholeheartedly agrees.
What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time abroad?
I got to play rugby with guys who won the world cup as in members of the All Blacks. I hiked the largest active volcano in South America while on the Chile trip. I’m a better person for having studied abroad.
In your opinion, why should every student study abroad? In America we have so many people and so many things happening that our view of the outside world is often guided by a skewed lens. In pop culture we see only a sliver of what countries have to offer and in many cases we only get the negative. Studying abroad is the best way to change that view and see the world for how good people truly are.