Full-time MIM student Lena Ibadoul shares her past experiences and interest in sustainability and alternative energy
1. Where are you from, what did you study in undergrad, past work experience?
Originally, I was born in Russia and lived there until I was about nine. Then my mom met my step dad and we moved to a small ski resort town in California called Mammoth Lakes, but it was too cold so we moved to Nevada. I went to high school in a small town near Lake Tahoe.
After high school I wanted to stay close to the area and my family so I went to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in 2007. I graduated from UNR in 2011 with a dual bachelor degree in International Business and Economics.
After graduation I worked as a marketing data analyst for a casino in Reno for about a year and then I got bit by the traveling bug. I decided to get my TESL certificate and move to Thailand. No particular reason why Thailand, except I had always heard that it was beautiful. My friends who had been there said it was one of the most amazing experiences. I taught middle school level math in an intensive English study program until I was accepted to PSU.
2. What attracted you to the MIM program?
I have always had a big interest in Asia. This program sold me on its intensive focus on relations with Asia, the overall international component and how it directly relates to my undergraduate degree. Hopefully this degree will feed my desire to travel and work with people across all nations and cultures. One of my biggest attractions to Portland State was the fact that Portland has been a
pioneer in sustainability above other cities. I’ve always been conscious of the environment, and have recently been very interested in alternative energy and fuels.
3. Which classes or projects have been memorable so far?
We haven’t gone on our Asia trip yet but I think that will probably be the most memorable. Our class is lucky in that we have already bonded so well. I am excited to apply our international knowledge and skills during the trip. I am really looking forward to working on our capstone projects and we have already had some great brainstorming ideas. This project will be one more thing getting us a step closer to our dream careers. It will be exciting to help out a company with a real-life problem and finally put our education to the test!
4. Do you have plans for a summer internship or work experience while in the program?
While in the program I’ve been working on and off for a catering company. Mainly I chose catering because of the wonderful networking opportunities it provides. I moved to Portland only a week before classes began, so it’s been difficult to meet people outside of school. Catering opens up a wide variety of people who attend the events, many of whom have well established careers here in Portland. Currently, I am actively pursuing internship opportunities and have had some interviews, but it’s been a difficult process. Mainly because there are so many great opportunities out there, and it’s difficult to say “no” to some of them. I am crossing my fingers for something in the alternative energy industry, as that is something I have been very passionate about for many years.
5. What would you like to be doing after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to have a position which allows me to travel all over the world, leading direct relations with Asian countries and companies. Since living abroad, I have realized how small our world is, but at the same time how disconnected we are from each other. I would like to play a substantial role in connecting people throughout the world. I would also really like to contribute to alternative energy research and implementation, as well as overall sustainability.
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.