The Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) will host the second annual International Studies Alumni Career Panel on March 19, 2018 in 1010 Weiser Hall (10th Floor). This alumni panel will showcase and celebrate the university’s rich history of contributions made by International Studies alumni, while providing valuable insight for current students as they start to develop their own career paths. The panel will include a student Q&A portion; a networking reception with light appetizers will follow.
PICS is home to the International Studies major and minor. Established in 2009, International Studies is one of the largest majors in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, with over 1,300 accomplished alumni worldwide. International Studies graduates pursue numerous career paths, many going on to work with corporations, non-profits, or government agencies, as well as progressing directly on to graduate school.
Learn where an International Studies major can take you!
Co-sponsors: LSA Global Scholars Program, LSA Honors Program, LSA Opportunity Hub, LSA Student Government, Sigma Iota Rho, U-M Department of Political Science
Olubisi Ajetunmobi, Master in Health Informatics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
BA International Studies '15
Olubisi (Bisi) Ajetunmobi graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies focused in Global Environment and Health. While at the university, Bisi worked to develop a travel abroad program for medical residents in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department to go abroad. Bisi and her project were featured in Business Insider as one of 17 Incredibly Impressive Students at the University of Michigan. After graduation, she conducted maternal and child health research in Ghana for a few months and then returned to Detroit to work with pregnant women at Meridian Health Plan. Olubisi is enrolled in the Master of Health Informatics program at the University of Michigan and will be graduating this April. After graduation, she hopes to work as a healthcare data analyst. Her goal is to use data to improve healthcare access and delivery for marginalized communities.
Denzell Blockett, Blue Care Network, Southfield, MI
BA International Studies '16
Denzell Blockett graduated from the University of Michigan in May of 2016. He majored in International Studies with a focus in Global Environment and Health. During his time at Michigan, he participated in Books for Benefit which aids local youth by providing tools for their success. Denzell’s first position after graduation was with the Detroit Pistons in 2016 as a corporate intern and shortly afterwards as a public relations intern. After completing two internships with the Detroit Pistons, he decided to pursue a new career path in healthcare and began working at Blue Care Network, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. In this position, Denzell has created multiple procedural manuals for use throughout the corporation. He is also using this opportunity to increase his knowledge relative to the creation of responsive processes as a result of the ever-changing healthcare system which is greatly influenced by current political circumstances. He is presently learning the importance of business acumen and gaining insight into what it means to work in corporate America.
Maggie Chu, Segment, San Francisco, CA
BA International Studies; BA Political Science; minor, Asian Languages and Cultures '14
Maggie Chu graduated in 2014 with a BA in Political Science, and International Studies, and a minor in Asian Studies. After graduation, Maggie started a two-year teaching fellowship with Teach For China, teaching English in the countryside of Yunnan, China, to improve rural education. In between those two years, Maggie taught herself how to code, worked as a summer intern in Hong Kong as a mobile app developer, then moved to Hong Kong to work full time at a tech startup as a customer success engineer. After three years in Asia, she moved to San Francisco to work as a success engineer at Segment, a data routing company. She is now taking part-time classes at UC Berkeley, studying for a professional certificate program in data science.
In her free time, Maggie continues to volunteer as a math tutor for low-income, first-generation, college-bound, high- school students from a Cantonese background in the Bay Area. She is also passionate about encouraging more females and minorities to pursue STEM fields, and loves talking about the technology industry in Asia.
Margi Goelz, American Councils for International Education, Washington, D.C.
BA International Studies; BA Middle East and North African Studies; minor, Community Action and Social Change; Honors '16
Margi Goelz graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with Highest Honors in International Studies focused in Security, Norms and Cooperation. She also pursued a dual concentration with Middle East and North African Studies, a minor in Community Action and Social Change, and spent a summer intensively studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan. During her time at Michigan, she was involved in Circle K, a student organization dedicated to service learning. With Circle K, she created and led the International Awareness and Empowerment Committee, which aimed to connect the social justice issues that club members volunteered for locally to human rights issues globally. She also organized the club's long-term volunteer project with Alpha House, a shelter for families experiencing homelessness, and co-captained the club's Dance Marathon team. After graduating, she participated in the U-M Development Summer Internship Program (D-SIP) where she discovered an interesting pathway to connect her desire to work in an international nonprofit setting with fundraising.
In fall 2016, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for American Councils for International Education, a nonprofit administering student exchange programs in critical languages and countries around the world. She is on the Strategic Development and Fundraising team, where she fundraises for student scholarships and new program development for study abroad. Eventually, she hopes to go back to school and pursue a master's and/or law degree(s) to continue exploring the topic of her senior honors thesis which evaluated humanitarian responses to communities in conflict, particularly at the intersection of gender and UN policy.
Quinn Konarska, Rebelhouse Group, Los Angeles, CA
BA International Studies; minors, Global Media Studies, French and Francophone Studies '13
Quinn Konarska graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 with a BA in International Studies focused on Global Environment and Health, and minors in Screen Arts and Cultures, and French and Francophone studies. While at Michigan, she was an active member of FOKUS (Fighting Obstacles Knowing Ultimate Success) and SHEI Magazine, and studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. In 2011, she worked for Participant Media as a documentary development intern, helping to fund and produce films for social change. Upon graduation, she accepted an offer with Google in San Francisco. She worked in People Operations, developing events and programs to engage with top tech talent while working to build a more diverse hiring pipeline. In August 2017, Quinn left Google, packed up her Volvo wagon, and headed south to pursue impact media in Los Angeles. She currently works as a production and outreach coordinator for Rebelhouse Group, a creative agency that produces films in tandem with outreach campaigns to enact social change. Their most recent documentary, Soufra, tells the story of a group of refugee women in Lebanon who set out to launch a successful catering company and expand it into a food truck business. Soufra was an official selection of the Berlin International Film Festival, DOC NYC, El Gouna, and numerous other film festivals. Quinn plans to continue pursuing writing and filmmaking as tools to make the world a better place.
Danielle Lumetta, Accenture, San Francisco, CA
BA International Studies; BA German '13
Danielle Lumetta graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 with a dual BA in International Studies (Political Economy and Development), and German. Identifying the opportunity to create community through transparent student-faculty communication, Danielle served as the International Studies Student Body President from 2011-2013.
After graduation, Danielle joined Accenture, a global management consulting firm. As a retail strategy consultant, she partners with leading retailers to drive technology-enabled transformation. She has identified the opportunity for using artificial intelligence to transform a fast fashion retailer; propelled a global cosmetics and beauty client to be recognized as the store concept of the year by re-engineering the in-store experience; and, most recently, created Accenture’s Point of View on the Future of Merchandising, which debuted at the National Retail Federation Conference earlier this year.
In her free time, Danielle enjoys hiking, skiing, and surfing. In 2017, she launched @jdpacific, with her best friend from the University of Michigan, which is a platform advocating for women’s exploration of the outdoors.
Madison Malloch-Brown, The Estée Lauder Companies, New York, NY
BA International Studies; minor, Asian Languages and Cultures '14
Madison Malloch-Brown is the assistant manager for Enterprise Change Communications at The Estée Lauder Companies. She also serves on the Ambassador Council for the International Crisis Group, an NGO committed to preventing deadly conflict with a presence on six continents. Previously, she worked in the Corporate and Public Affairs Practice at Edelman and in the Crisis Communications and Issues Management Group at Weber Shandwick. Before starting her career in corporate communications, Madison held several internships at NGOs, including the United Nations Foundation and the International Rescue Committee, and at Ergo, a political risk consulting firm. Madison graduated from Michigan in 2014 with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Mandarin.
Sumana Palle, Amazon, Chicago, IL
BA International Studies; BBA Business Administration '15
Sumana Palle graduated with a dual major in International Studies and Business Administration. During her time at Michigan, Sumana founded Shakti, an organization for women of color to foster and implement their ideas for social change. She was instrumental in the growth of the highly popular What The F, the first women's publication at the University of Michigan, and was involved with the Michigan Women of Color Collective, the first women-of-color-only safe space dedicated to providing minority women community. In addition to leading and participating in student activism around sexual assault survivors' rights and anti-racism, she wrote several widely circulated pieces for The Michigan Daily. While attending the University of Michigan, she traveled around the Arab world and Asia, including interning in Shanghai at a boutique consulting firm researching consumer patterns of differently tiered cities in emerging markets. Sumana was selected as the commencement speaker for the International Studies Class of 2015.
Born in India and raised around the world, Sumana travels at every opportunity. Since graduation, she has been working at Amazon, exploring her interest in project management and operational logistics. She currently is the program director for UMA for Survivors, a nonprofit dedicated to training medical professionals on how to provide adequate post trauma care for sexual assault survivors in India. She is currently working on a book about her personal experiences grappling with trauma and navigating colonized spaces. In the near future, Sumana plans on working in Occupied Kashmir to do research in humanitarian aid logistics and how women in war zones overcome trauma. Sumana speaks five languages, eats takeout too often, and is constantly exploring what it means to be a post-colonial, queer, brown immigrant Telugu woman.
Xhensila (Janie) Velencia, The Card Bureau, Washington, D.C.
BA International Studies; BA Political Science; minor, Community Action and Social Change '13
Janie Velencia is the founder of The Card Bureau, a greeting card company based in Washington, D.C. Recently, she worked as a media consultant for the creative agency division of The Atlantic. Prior, she worked as a media pollster for Huffington Post covering the 2016 elections. Janie's first job out of college was as a researcher and journalist for CQ Roll Call, an Economist Group company, where she covered Congress and state legislators. Janie started working in D.C. right after graduating in 2013, interning for a Michigan senator. She received a BA in International Studies, and Political Science, and a minor in Community Action and Social Change from the University of Michigan. During her time on campus, Janie was the chair of the Global Scholars Program; president of the Albanian American Student Organization; an LSA Student Government representative, and the founder of the student organization Students for Global Engagement.
Daniel Sack, MD/PhD Program, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
BA International Studies; minor, Biochemistry; Honors '16
Daniel (Danny) Sack graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a BA in International Studies, with a focus on Global Environment and Health, and a minor in Biochemistry. During his time in Ann Arbor, Danny was involved with the Michigan Running Club, where he could be seen in colorful shorts that were weather inappropriate. He also worked as a founding member of the Culture of Medicine Club, to organize a global health symposium examining the accomplishments and shortcomings of the health-related Millennium Development Goals. His undergraduate research explored the interactions between contraception and the vaginal microbiome and his honors thesis focused on how women attending family planning clinics associated with St. Paul’s Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, learned about their contraceptive choices.
After graduation, Danny entered the Vanderbilt University Medical Scientist Training Program — a joint MD/PhD program. He is currently in his second year of medical school, where he gets the opportunity to explore a variety of fields of medicine and see patients. He starts his PhD in Epidemiology in August, where he hopes to study the intersection between socioeconomic health factors and the policy interventions needed to mitigate them, with a focus on women’s health.
Bryna Worner, Program in International and Comparative Studies and Donia Human Rights Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
BA International Studies; BA Political Science; BA Spanish '13