Once I started travelling, I realized how much there is to see and learn through travelling, and I quickly applied for several other international opportunities through my university. During my bachelor’s, I won two grants to do international self-led research and received an international internship placement. In spring 2015, I travelled to Senegal to research malaria interventions, and in the summer of 2015, I lived in Uganda for three months, working with a local microfinance institution. My last trip as part of my bachelor’s program was in 2016, when I travelled to Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic to research holocaust memorials for my honors thesis.
After graduating in 2016 from Lehigh University, I moved to Vienna, Austria on a Fulbright Student research grant. In Vienna, I attended Universität Wien and researched how school children understand Austrian national identity. I also taught English at two different secondary schools, and during my second year there, I helped to manage an English teacher exchange program.
I fell in love with Central Europe while living in Vienna, and when applying for master’s programs, I decided I wanted to stay in the region. That is what led me to the Central European University, where I received my master’s in international relations with a specialization in development studies and an advanced certificate in religious studies—turns out I might still be just a bit indecisive and a little overambitious. After graduating in 2020, I moved back to the United States to be closer to my family during the beginning of the pandemic, which led to my current position at the Lowe Group.
Living, studying and working abroad taught me so much. Teaching English as a second language helped my non-teaching career by bolstering my presentation skills and solidifying my editing and writing skills. Getting the chance to travel and live abroad taught me a lot about intercultural communication and about how wonderful it is to be human.
You don’t have a traditional communications background. How does your experience come in handy when working in financial PR?
One of the most important things that I learned as an English major was that strong writing and comprehension skills can take you far! From teaching English in Vienna to writing research reports in the mountains of Uganda, my ability to communicate and write effectively across industries and cultures was critical. Now working in PR, these writing and communication skills help me when pitching clients to reporters, when learning about new and exciting aspects of the financial services industry and when working to build up others’ writing.
Moving and living abroad also helped me to become the self-confident and flexible person that I am. I’m not afraid to jump straight into a new project or to speak up in unfamiliar situations, and I love trying and learning new things. Although I didn’t know much about the financial services industry before joining Lowe Group, it’s been a great opportunity to learn about this sector.