Jamen Yeaton Masi '86

International Affairs and Spanish Major | Director of Operations, Country Walkers
masi jamen yeaton

I still remember being a freshman at the UNH and struggling with a choice of majors. Although I was enrolled in an environmental science program, my real passion lay in languages, anthropology, and culture. When I received a flyer announcing a new program in international affairs that required the study of a foreign language and a study abroad experience, my eyes lit up and I thought – perhaps this is what I am looking for! 

The CIE program allowed me to pursue my love of Spanish, continue with courses in environmental science and, best of all, explore other areas in economics, business, and anthropology. As a brand new major at UNH, I also enjoyed having a say in what the program should include. Often you would ask us “what do you think of the curriculum so far?” and “what other courses do you think should be included in this major?” It was exciting to be among the first students in a new program and feel that our opinions counted.

The highlight of my undergraduate studies was my semester in Mexico City. Never having lived or traveled abroad, nor lived in a city, it was an incredible cultural experience. I immersed myself in the language, the culture, and the lifestyle and found that after four months abroad I wasn’t ready to return to NH. The following summer I worked in southern Spain and developed a lifelong love of travel. I also found that I wanted to promote study abroad and thus pursued a career and a Master’s in Higher Education.

Currently I work for a small company called Country Walkers. As the Director of Operations, I develop international walking tours, hire and train guides from around the world, and manage a staff of 23. Although much of my job is on the computer, I love interacting with people around the world on a daily basis. I also love introducing people to off-the-beaten-path locations and encouraging them to explore the world “one step at a time” versus from the seat of a bus. This job allows me to utilize my language skills, travel, study about different cultures and countries, and pursue a type of tourism that is eco-friendly. In a nutshell it allows me to pursue my passions and interests much like my undergraduate program at UNH!

While my job is in tourism, my proudest moments have been working with small villages around the world in an attempt to give back to the communities. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction, allowing me to follow my heart, and guiding (and challenging!) me along the way.