"Choosing to become an International Studies and Economics double major, focusing in Political Economic Development, has guided my education at Michigan, as well as my future career path. My degree has enabled me to have an interdisciplinary education, where I’ve spent time abroad in two different countries for over two months. After taking another Spanish class at Michigan, following my seven years of education prior, I was excited to take my education abroad. The International Studies department, Spanish language department, and the club AISEC, enabled me to intern abroad in Argentina. I was able to connect with my co-workers at a tech start-up, while enriching my Spanish skills, and reflecting on my experiences through a weekly Spanish blog. My journey gave me the courage to study abroad in Barcelona at Universität Automate de Barcelona alone during the pandemic, where I was able to take both International Finance and International Business. My classes were filled with fifteen students from fifteen different countries, which enabled me to expand my intercultural communication skills.

The UM-International Studies program has encouraged me to learn about other cultures and be an activist. In my 21st Central Global Activism and Politics class, I was led to view the world under “One World” and was taught to be an activist fighting four major global problems. The intercultural exposure and skill kit I have developed has given me confidence to serve as a Community Economic Development Connector in Colombia through the Peace Corps. Without the international experience, along with my education on international development, I do not believe I would be graduating soon with the confidence to live by myself in a rural community for 27 months."

Tara Snapper

Majors/Minors: BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Economics ‘22

Hometown: Wellesley, MA

Affiliations: Phi Beta Lambda (Business Professional Fraternity), Propel Business Group - Social Impact Consulting, PALMA - Proyecto Avance, Latino Mentoring Association, Hillel 

Future Plans: “I will be first working at Huck Capital, a private equity company focused on renewable energy, as a summer analyst. Come September, I will be serving in the Peace Corps as a Community Economic Development Connector in Colombia. My main goal is to discover an inspiring career path that intersects business and social impact, while also taking into account the issues of sustainability, global development, and economic inequality.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory would be attending a virtual career talk (while studying abroad) with John A Young, a UM Graduate working within the UN Refugee Agency. It was extremely interesting hearing about what motivated him to receive a masters degree, enter the refugee agency in the UN instead of another department, and what goals he has for the future. His passion for solving the refugee crisis left me inspired to continue learning about ways I can make change, both with international organizations, and in other facets.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I would like to express gratitude towards my parents for always encouraging me to study what I think is the most interesting, not only what will help me the most in the future. Their enthusiasm for learning is what has pushed me to always ask questions and learn more about what I'm passionate about. I also appreciate their support for me going out of my comfort zone - whether that's with the classes I've chosen, the summer experiences I've had, or my post-graduation plan, they always have encouraged me to follow my heart, more than anything else.”