Current Position: Growth Marketing Specialist, Ovia Health
Previous University: Northeastern University
Undergraduate Degree: International Business with a double minor in Spanish and International Affairs, concentration in Marketing
Q: What sparked your interest in international business?
A: My interest in health equity and international affairs started early. I volunteered throughout high school and college for a nonprofit organization called AYUDA (American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad), which works to educate and empower children living with Type 1 diabetes in Spanish-speaking countries around the world. I knew I wanted to find a university where I could combine the things I’m most passionate about, and that’s why I first chose Northeastern University’s international business program. Also, because of the amazing undergraduate co-op opportunities here, I’d be able to work in the field and make sure it was something I wanted to do before completing my degree.
Q: Why did you decide to earn your master’s degree right away?
A: In today’s chaotic job market, I feel that it’s important to distinguish yourself from the crowd, and the more education you have, the better. It was an easy decision to make when I learned that I could get my master’s degree in just one year with the PlusOne program. Compared to a two-year program, it was a significant savings of money and time, and the courses integrated seamlessly with my undergraduate degree. There were so many good reasons to enroll that I felt sure it was the right choice for me.
Q: How did the PlusOne master’s program deepen your knowledge?
A: Even though I earned a bachelor’s degree in international business, I found so much more to unearth at the graduate level. My undergraduate courses scratched the surface of topics like entrepreneurship and supply chain, but my graduate courses allowed me to dive much deeper. For example, my graduate course in international business taught me how to do various full-scale analyses of a country’s overall well-being and then extrapolate that information to determine how it would impact business in that country. I learned how to integrate all the siloed information from my different courses and see how real companies solve real problems through case studies. Finally, I had a chance to put everything into practice with a consulting project, which was incredible.
Q: What was the impact of your consulting project?
A: Since I already had a longstanding relationship with AYUDA, I offered them my help analyzing what country they could best serve next. AYUDA provides resources and experienced volunteers who can help with diabetes education to local partner organizations in the countries where they work, with the goal of supporting local partners until they can be completely self-sufficient. AYUDA’s work in the Dominican Republic was winding down for that reason, but as a small nonprofit, they couldn’t afford a consultant to help them analyze what country they should target next.
I did an in-depth study of three countries, looking at their current healthcare environment, overall economic stability, and education level regarding diabetes, among other factors. From this initial research, I evaluated the costs and benefits and developed a case study with recommendations that AYUDA could use to make decisions about future investments over the next five to ten years. They were ecstatic to have a detailed report without incurring any consulting cost, and I think it will be a big asset to them as they move forward.
Q: What advice do you have for students considering the PlusOne option?
A: The benefits you’ll get are so much more than the dollars and cents you’ll spend. In just one additional year, you’ll gain confidence in many areas and make yourself more marketable. Going straight to my master’s after my bachelor’s degree, I was worried I’d be the youngest person in the room, since most people in my classes were working professionals with years of experience. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to relate to my classmates, but after the first week, my anxiety disappeared as I realized how much I could learn from them. Northeastern has given me so much, and I’d tell anyone considering this program to take the leap.
“I knew I had both the expertise and experience to stand out because of my professional and personal experience while attending Northeastern.”
“After researching various options, I decided Northeastern would be the best fit because of its diverse and welcoming community. I wanted to be at a university where I could interact with and learn from peers with perspectives and experiences that differ from mine…I’m glad I have the chance to do this at Northeastern.”
“My advice for prospective students would be to take advantage of the network you build during your time at Northeastern. And get to know everyone in the program; it makes learning much more enjoyable.”