Finding Their Way in the World
Right away Stroup encountered indications that he had made the right choice. The faculty seemed to genuinely care about seeing students succeed. What’s more, Stroup realized that the university’s relatively small class sizes allowed students to develop strong bonds with their instructors (see related story), and he was often astounded by the number of professors he saw in Apfelbaum Hall spending late hours in their offices helping students with projects and assignments.
Stroup also realized that a business education at Susquehanna is about much more than the nuts and bolts of classroom education. For instance, as he looks back on it now, Stroup realizes that the university’s liberal arts curriculum requirements helped expand his worldview in ways he never imagined, playing a key role in his eventual success in business.
“In my opinion, graduates with a liberal arts background appear more learned and worldly than those without, coming across as people who have taken an interest in other fields of study and world cultures,” says Stroup. “As businesses grow and economies develop, more companies are becoming global. Corporate cultures become more diverse. Knowledge of and appreciation for different religions, histories and philosophies are becoming more and more important to organizations and their recruiters. I feel these very points have helped to develop my own career, positioning me for new opportunities, especially those abroad.”
Stroup got his first taste of life abroad in 2005, when he traveled to China with a university program similar to current GO Short trips, which, at the time, was led by Associate Professor of Information Systems Richard Orwig and Associate Professor of Accounting Jerry Habegger. Over the course of four weeks, Stroup was deeply immersed in Chinese history and culture. The experience was so eye-opening that he traveled back to China one year later, this time living in the country for an entire summer through a business education program held in conjunction with Elizabethtown College.
“When I started interviewing for jobs after college, almost everyone asked me about my China experience, because it suggested that I was a worldly person who takes interest in other nations and cultures,” recalls Stroup. “I find myself reflecting on my China experiences more often these days and realizing the many intangible ways it helped prepare me for the life I live now. I mean, before China, I had never even been on a plane.”
During his junior year, Stroup found himself traveling yet again, this time through the business school’s London Program, a semester-long excursion that allows students to enroll in academic course work abroad while having the experience of living in and attending classes in the city.
“We do things in this program that make a real difference,” says David Bussard, associate professor of management and director of the school’s international programs. “We’re not simply providing book learning or classroom learning. Our objective is to make students aware that what we do in the business program can make a difference in companies and the lives of other people around the world.”
It certainly had a profound impact on Stroup. After his semester with the London program he accepted an internship at CNBC London the following summer, which found him living in a foreign city on his own for the first time in his life.
“If it wasn’t for the London program, I don’t think I would have ever been open-minded enough to take this job in Dubai,” says Stroup. “Even though the two cities are nothing alike, being in London and getting into a day-to-day routine gave me a taste of what it feels like to live and work in a place very far from home. I know now that’s why I was comfortable enough to take a giant leap and come out to Dubai.”
STROUP CERTAINLY ISN'T THE ONLY SUSQUEHANNA BUSINESS MAJOR TO EXPERIENCE THE EYE-OPENING POTENTIAL OF LIFE ABROAD.
“Going to London was extremely helpful to my business education, and really to my general understanding of the world,” says Stephanie Chan ’13. As she prepared to step into her first job as a finance analyst for JPMorgan Chase in July, Chan reflected on the ways in which that trip helped prepare her for a life beyond the halls of Susquehanna. “London gave me a firsthand glance at what business is like on the other side of the world, which was extremely helpful in gaining the larger perspective of business as a whole.”
For Chan, a Gretna, La., native, that broadening of perspective was not limited to her time in London. And while she has nothing but plaudits for the business education she received at Susquehanna, she says it was the university’s Central Curriculum requirements that helped her grow in some of the most unexpected ways.