Sarah Lemelin MacDonald '10
One of the best things I took away from my four years at UNH was a major in International Affairs. As a student, I was keenly interested in all things related to new cultures, languages and travel but I struggled to envision a career path that would allow me to incorporate these interests into my daily life. Fast forward five years from graduation and I’m writing my CIE alumni profile on a plane headed to Helsinki from London, where I currently live and work in my role as an international marketing manager.
During my senior year at UNH I took an internship at a local start-up marketing agency which later developed into a full time position. It was this job that allowed me to learn the fundamentals of marketing and opened up the door to my next role in Boston. In 2013 I was asked to relocate to London and manage the international marketing efforts for my company out of their London office. It took several months to figure out all the details but eventually my husband and I were living in London and loving it.
While I often thought a career in business would doom me to a life of sitting “behind a desk all day,” that couldn’t be further from the case. My job has helped me travel to over 15 countries in the past couple years across Europe and Asia as well as several new places in the United States. I also get to work with colleagues from over 10 different nationalities which means I am constantly exposed to other cultures, languages, foods and traditions.
Developing a global perspective through my IA major and study abroad experience has been invaluable to my career. It has helped me to stand out in job interviews and applications and has prepared me to work with colleagues and partners from various cultural and language backgrounds all over the world.
My advice to IA students is to remain open minded about what career you might pursue after UNH. I never expected to find myself in a business setting and to be enjoying it so much. I would also encourage you to mention your study abroad program and IA major on every job application, in every interview and on your resume!