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 (Political Economy and Development); BA Economics '20
Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI
University of Michigan Affiliations: AIESEC, Michigan Foreign Policy Council, Sigma Iota Rho, PSIP, European Horizons
"Regardless of what sub-plan you choose, the PICS curriculum dips into topics within a variety of fields and departments, providing students a well-rounded, global education – and it’s that aspect which opened up so many doors for me post-graduation.
Immediately after university, I interned for NASDA (an agricultural organization based in DC) where I used what I learned from the PED sub-plan directly, working on international market research in South America and facilitating discussions between global distributors and American suppliers to promote trade amongst small US agriculture businesses.
Once that internship concluded, I was able to secure my first job at Amazon in London and moved to the UK in August 2021. I had no prior corporate experience, let alone internationally, but the fact that my educational background focused on global perspectives (and the PICS foreign language requirement), I was able to demonstrate that I had the tools needed for adapting to a new environment, as well as a genuine passion for working abroad and collaborating with people of different backgrounds. Though my current position at the company does not necessarily entail international trade, economics topics that we covered in my coursework, Brexit most notably, directly impact my day-to-day.
The International Studies major truly is an education that impresses employers worldwide, and prepares you for more jobs than you might initially think. To recent graduates - you already have the background and experience, so believe in yourself and take the risk in applying to positions you're convinced are out of reach for now. It's likely to pay off in ways you hadn't expected."