OHIO Alumni Share Success from Experiences Abroad

With Homecoming just around the corner, the Office of Global Opportunities reached out to a few alumni who had one or more global experiences during their undergraduate studies. Following the theme of Homecoming 2015: “Same Bricks, Different Stories,” all the Bobcat world travelers we talked to had one thing in common: their individual global experiences helped them get jobs after college.

Heather Farr graduated from Ohio University in 2012. During her sophomore year, she traveled to Vietnam through the Global Leadership Certificate Program and interned with Young & Rubicam/Olgilvy in Zambia during her senior year through the Institute of International Journalism. For both experiences abroad Heather received class credit and got real world experience in public relations and marketing in an international setting. These experiences helped her stand out among many other applicants when she interviewed for post-graduate opportunities.

HF-2Heather Farr enjoys a classic Vietnamese soup, pho, with her Nha Trang University classmates.

“In the communications industry, there’s a certain threshold of check boxes that most candidates have—like some sort of internship, club involvement, etc.—but traveling and interning abroad instantly puts you above the threshold,” Heather says.

With the knowledge and skills she acquired abroad, Heather scored a job at Edelman Chicago, the co-headquarters of the largest private PR firm in the world right out of college.

Rachael LaCava is a recent grad who credits her participation in OHIO’s South by Southwest program for ultimately landing her a job right after school at Audio Network in New York City. In March 2015, Rachael attended the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, TX that converges the music, interactive media and film industries to provide a professional atmosphere perfect for networking with top dogs in all three areas.

Rachael received invaluable, real world experience in a non-traditional learning environment and even adjusted her career plans after the conference.

SXSW_15Rachel LaCava (left) and Program Director Josh Antonuccio (right) network with Thomas Golubic (middle) music supervisor of Breaking Bad and Walking Dead at SXSW.

“I always thought I would work in LA. After attending SXSW, I realized that there was a lot of potential in NYC for me. I don’t think I would have considered New York a bigger option if it wasn’t for SXSW,” Rachael says.

When she interviewed for a position at Audio Network, she mentioned South by Southwest. Coincidentally, the interviewer also went to the event and was impressed with the connections she made and the two bonded over attending the same panels. With the insight she gained from South by Southwest and the connection she made with the interviewer, Rachael got the job right out of college!

Jared McCathren studied in Avignon, France during the spring quarter of his freshman year in 2007. He had never been out of the country before the program and had only been out of Ohio a few times. After he received his undergraduate degree, he moved to France for nine months to teach English to elementary schoolchildren.

Near-the-Pont-du-Gard-1Jared McCathren canoes to the Pont Du Gard in southern France.

Jared now works at the Institute of International Education in Washington, D.C., on the Fulbright Scholar Program. He helps grantees with the mandatory projects they must complete abroad during the program.

“I never really thought I’d end up pursuing any kind of future utilizing my French skills and I was even more surprised to become so passionate about international education opportunities,” Jared says.

Jared discovered his passion taking advantage of an OHIO program abroad and never thought he would find an opportunity to incorporate his love of French language and culture into a career. Those short three months abroad changed his career trajectory completely.

The global experiences of these three alumni perfectly illustrate their time on the same bricks, but with different stories. Jared loves that he found true appreciation for cultural differences, Heather values the open mind she has from working internationally and Rachael learned so much more about her industry than most young professionals in her business.

The Office of Global Opportunities makes it easy to go global with appointment-free walk-in advising every week day, a revamped website, and advisors who are eager to answer any questions. So go global and get an edge on the competition in the job market.

This article was originally published on Ohio University’s Compass on October 5, 2015. To check out the original article click here. Kelsey Miller is a senior majoring in Strategic Communication. For more  from Kelsey follow her on Twitter @kelseymiller300.


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