Read about this month’s International Studies Alumni Spotlight. Alumni were asked to share how their International Studies major or minor has influenced their path after graduating from the University of Michigan.
BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, Business Administration; Program in Entrepreneurship ‘18
Hometown: Toledo, OH
University of Michigan Affiliations: Marketing Chair of Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan, Vice President External of Apex Consulting Group, Fellow at the Center for Positive Organizations, Campus Tour Guide at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions
“Ever since my first day at Michigan, a career in marketing was my main goal. I have always been passionate about business as a destination, but my curiosity for International Studies, Political Science, and Communications drove my interest for exploring disciplines outside of a traditional business major.
Being an International Studies major at the University of Michigan breaks a common misconception that your field of study has to perfectly align with your career or postgraduate destination. What I valued most about the major was the ability to create your own path and to craft a course load based on my interests and future goals, which is something the Program in International and Comparative Studies is always trying to stress with students through various subplans. Taking a wide variety of courses in different departments gave me the ability to merge my business and liberal arts interests. Being exposed to such a diverse course load gave me a wide range of skills in various areas, but also enabled me to become a subject-matter expert in my niche of International Studies with a Global Business focus. An International Studies education combined with my Business minor has prepared me for a career in marketing because it developed both my qualitative and quantitative thinking.
To be an effective marketer, it is essential to understand the art and the science. The International Studies major motivates students to do so and gives students the flexibility to explore. My International Studies courses gave me the ability to analyze information, be informed on current events, make connections, develop arguments, and proficiently articulate my point of view with a global perspective. Excellent verbal and written communication skills were stressed across the major and is something that truly prepared me to work for in the Performance Marketing department of a leading Fortune 500 company in the Information and Technology Services space.
I am currently a Product Marketing Strategist at IBM, and truly love my role. Day-to-day, I work with my team to develop the strategy for creating consistency across our product marketing discipline. I use both creativity and logical thinking when innovating ideas for our product launches and discussions on marketing signature moments across our company. Marketing is an extremely cross-functional space where innovation and thinking outside of the box is required. I would like to thank Program in International and Comparative Studies for providing me the community for which I cultivated the skills that I will continue to grow for the future within my marketing career.”