“The Eberly College of Business and Information Technology at IUP has certainly prepared me for living and working in a global community. The abundance of opportunities, challenging coursework, and committed faculty has helped me to accomplish everything I set out to do during college, and more.”
Having grown up in Clymer, Pennsylvania, a small town about 15 minutes from Indiana, I never thought I would stay close to home for college. Studying languages during high school had given me an avid curiosity for other cultures and places. So, the summer before my senior year of high school, I spent weeks pouring through brochures on universities across the country and globe. However, after comparing the programs of many illustrious institutions, I surprisingly decided on a school a little closer to home, the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology at IUP.
My parents always told me that college is what you make of it. So, throughout my four years at IUP, I have tried to take every opportunity that I could to broaden my skill sets. I chose to major in International Business, and was accepted into both the Business Honors program and the Robert E. Cook Honors College. In the Business Honors program, I have been taught alongside peers who are ambitious and dedicated. This atmosphere of excellence has encouraged me to continually learn and grow as a person. Many committed professors have helped me to see real-world application for my studies while challenging me daily to think critically and see different world views.
As the years progressed at IUP, I also developed a passion for languages, particularly French. I participated in both French Club and the International Business Association. When I was offered the opportunity to study abroad and further refine my language skills, I readily participated.
In the Summer of 2010, I decided to study abroad in France during the Spring semester of my junior year. At the time, I looked forward to the opportunity because I would be able to travel and improve my French language skills.
I chose a program in Cannes, France, at the Collège International de Cannes. From February 2011 to May 2011 I took 18 credits in everything from International Business to Advanced French Composition. I knew the language well enough that I was able to communicate and take classes entirely in French. Additionally, I was the only person from IUP so, from the start, I was making friends from around the world. We would sit at cafés after class and discuss everything from politics to pop culture.
By interacting with each other, my classmates and I were able to see that a country’s politics and stereotypes do not necessarily define its people. All of this gave me faces and perspectives on many countries, making world events more than just a news headline. When the Tsunami struck Japan in March, I was worried about my new friend Tatsuya’s family, who were mere miles away from the destruction. When there was unrest in Libya, I discussed the fight for women’s rights in the Arab world with my friend Meryem, a Muslim from Morocco.
Studying abroad gave me so much more than a trip to a beautiful country—it gave me an entirely new perspective on the world and a respect for other’s viewpoints. It also gave me a better understanding and appreciation for the freedoms that I enjoy every day in our country. My classmates and I will forever be changed by this mutual interaction, and it will certainly impact the way we work and relate to others for the rest of our lives. After returning from France, I spoke at the Robert E. Cook Honors College in order to promote studying abroad and encourage more students to gain this valuable experience.
In my first class in Eberly, Introduction to Business, my professor asked us to write a letter outlining our goals for our college years. I recently re-read that letter and realized that with the help and support of some truly amazing people, I have accomplished each one of my goals. The Eberly College of Business was certainly the right choice for me and has prepared me to excel professionally and personally within a global community.
Robin is currently an Assistant Branch Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Erie, Pennsylvania (as of Fall 2013).