February 19, 2020
By Samantha Carpentiere '20
Navigating international opportunities is no easy feat, yet with hard work and determination, Susquehanna students and alumni alike are finding success in their global endeavors.
Kyle Robertson ’11, Katie Patschke ’15, Alicia Sornson ’15 and Paul Siekmann ’16 shared how their time at SU helped prepare them for their post-graduation international experiences during the panel discussion Beyond These Borders: Working Internationally at SU’s eighth annual Break Through.
The alums agreed that Susquehanna’s Global Opportunities program gave them the confidence they needed to start their careers beyond U.S. borders. After their semesters abroad, they knew they had the capacity and ambition to do it again on a more permanent scale.
“You know you can do it because you’ve done it before,” Siekmann said.
The panelists noted that while international work experience is unparalleled, travelling internationally for a domestically based job can be grueling and might not appeal to everyone.
“Your passion [for travel] doesn’t have to be your job,” Patschke said.
Patschke said she prefers to live abroad rather than travel abroad often for work, while Sornson and Siekmann agreed that, despite the hardships they face with their constant work travels, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
While each panelist brought different perspectives to the discussion, they all emphasized the importance of utilizing Susquehanna’s alumni network to seek out international opportunities.
“Never downplay the breadth of Susquehanna,” Sornson said, recounting the time an interviewer from her master’s program in Turkey recognized a former SU faculty member from his name on Sornson’s thesis paper. “SU people are everywhere; utilize your connections,” she concluded.
These pieces of advice resonated with students.
“There are a lot of ways to begin working abroad internationally, but you need to pick the one that’s best for you,” said Erin Wetmore ’20. “It was nice to see how teaching abroad or finding internships abroad can open the doors for future experiences.”
About Break Through
Break Through helps Susquehanna students to network and develop contacts with alumni and other professionals in their chosen fields. Each year in February, alumni converge on campus for the student-alumni networking conference. Alumni offer career-specific panel discussions, money management advice, résumé tips, online branding and more. Break Through is organized by Susquehanna's Career Development Center.