This week we welcome 2 new MIM Ambassadors, Susan Forrester and Joshua Thorpe. Here Susan shares a little about her background and reasons for choosing to study in the Master of International Management program.
While teaching in Seoul, South Korea, berries connected me back to Oregon and my alma mater directed me to the MIM program. I choose the MIM program because it combined an MBA program with awareness for cultural diversity and globalization.
After graduating from Portland State University with an undergraduate degree in Political Science, I set off to teach abroad with plans to return to the USA for graduate school in education. However, after two years of teaching and knowing that my job had no room for growth, I started to look at other fields of study. Working in a foreign country was challenging, and I thrived on constant problem solving. I knew whichever field I went into next would need to offer the same kinds of demands.
I had been living in central Seoul having lots of fun in the city and spending weekends traveling around the peninsula. While shopping at my neighborhood produce stand, I noticed a package of blueberries, the label said the berries were from Gresham, Oregon. Later that month at my grocery store I found cans of Oregon Fruit Products. I was surprised to see both of these products from Oregon on the shelf of local grocery stores that it triggered me to learn more about the trade that happens between Oregon and Asia.
After living abroad in South Korea and working in an office where I was one of the few foreigners, I quickly learned about the idiosyncrasies of the Korean workplace. Many times misunderstandings between my coworkers were caused by a lack of language proficiency and different mores, however working through our problems and learning more about one another was very satisfying. When I was researching graduate business program, I wanted to learn about global business with other foreign students. Working in a diverse group and learning about other cultural norms can be challenging but very rewarding.
I had originally looked at the MBA program at PSU, however I noticed a link to the MIM program and it immediately caught my eye. From the first sentence about Asia’s economy and Oregon’s relationship to the Pacific Rim, I knew I was in the right place.
Our class has just finished up our first term and I’m already looking forward to coming back after the New Year. During Winter term we will head to Asia for a month, I am excited to use my limited Chinese language skills and learn more about global businesses. I am proud to be a MIM Ambassador and look forward to sharing our time at PSU with you!
Susan Forrester is a full-time student in the Masters in International Management program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Portland State University. After living in Seoul, South Korea for two years she was interested in finding a career that linked Oregon and Asia together through trade. Susan enjoys the diverse background of the MIM student body that allows her to frequently practice her beginner level Chinese.