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In Europe on Scholar Semester

November  2015

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Madelyn Fife, ‘17, Economics/Political Science

Group of Students in Europe

From a textbook, I can learn about the United Nations: what it does, who it employs, how it works alongside national governments. But there is something surreal about being in the Geneva headquarters of the United Nations and realizing that working at such a renowned organization does not have to be a pipe dream. My semester of study and travel as a Huntsman Scholar has been filled with many such moments of clarity. Researching at Oxford University’s world-class Bodleian Library, witnessing the struggle of Syrian migrants firsthand on the Austrian-German border, learning from an Aggie alum turned top-level executive at Barclays—all these experiences were accompanied by deep personal reflection about just how complex, beautiful and diverse our world is, and what small role I want to play in it. 

The Huntsman Scholar semester uniquely supplements in-class business coursework with academic travel throughout Western Europe. We visited various multinational corporations, NGOs and top European business schools for real-world application of course material. In the process, I gained a broader perspective of business in today’s global economy and developed an international mindset. Now I recognize the interconnectivity of our world, and this has altered my approach to thinking about business challenges for the better.

But perhaps the most valuable part of our trip to Europe is the relationships I made. The sense of camaraderie I first felt with my classmates in Europe has followed us home to Logan. I formed a similar bond with each of our three amazing professors. They have pushed me and encouraged me all throughout this semester of personal growth. I will always cherish the moments of mentorship I received from them and from Dean Anderson himself, who we were fortunate to have join us for a portion of the trip. There is something special about the bond that forms between those who travel, learn, work, explore, question, and grow together. And you just cannot get that out of a textbook.