A global perspective
Hometown: Lewiston, Maine
Degrees: Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration (international business, management) and a minor in political science, December 2010
Why did you choose to attend UMaine and why a focus on international business?
After being accepted at several other schools in addition to UMaine, I visited each one, weighed my options, and the combination of student life, cost and a nationally accredited program drove my decision to attend. I recognized early on that international business was a field that was not likely to disappear anytime soon and had the potential to provide me with an opportunity to work in an international environment.
What are your plans after graduation and how has your education and experiences at or through UMaine prepared you?
Given the current economic climate, I’m casting a fairly wide net in terms of seeking employment now that I have graduated. Potential areas include retail management, where I have significant experience already, consulting, which my M.B.A. has prepared me for, as well as administration within the federal government since I now live in Washington D.C. My education and experiences have taught me to be creative and persistent, and also the importance of networking with those in my desired field. My education specifically has taught me to think critically and make quick but prudent decisions, as well as the value of hard work, which is applicable to virtually any field.
What strikes you as the most compelling arguments for understanding the global marketplace?
These are interesting times to be answering a question such as this. The global financial crisis really speaks to how interconnected and interdependent the global economy is. It is now more important than ever to possess an international perspective and approach issues pertaining to the global marketplace with an open mind. Increased competition, fueled by the lowering of trade barriers and the growth of multinational corporations on an unprecedented scale, requires efficient and profound innovation and taking calculated risks to increase market share, grow profits and benefit all stakeholders, internal and external.
Where do you want to be in five years?
I’d like to be in a position to be enriching the lives of others while putting my skills and experiences to good use. Vague, I’m aware, but I haven’t had enough variety in my experiences yet to project that far down the road with any real confidence, and the job search is ongoing.
To what extent did you involve yourself with extracurricular activities offered through the university or business school?
During my undergraduate years, I was a Student Government senator and acted as a student ambassador advising the dean of students on issues related to student life. I played defensive end on the UMaine Tackle Football Club Team, and was also treasurer of the UMaine College Democrats during the 2004 presidential campaign. While completing my MBA, I was president of the Graduate Business Association and a senator in The Graduate Student Senate.
What do you consider your most important accomplishment here?
Completing my M.B.A. was probably my most significant accomplishment at UMaine. It required a significant amount of challenging work, time management and a lot of commitment, but will undoubtedly open many doors for me down the road.
The highlight of your academic experience?
Hands down, the opportunities to participate in academic trips with the Maine Business School to Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Russia, and to study abroad in Germany capped off my fantastic experience at UMaine. I made friends all over the world, learned about a variety of cultures and learned a lot about myself as well.
How did your UMaine experience shape you?
My UMaine experience has made me more confident in my ability to succeed in an unfamiliar and challenging environment. I am now more independent, resourceful and possess wide-ranging knowledge that often comes in handy in ways I could never have imagined.
What is your most memorable UMaine moment?
Game 7 of the 2004 Red Sox vs. Yankees ALCS was a great time at UMaine. I watched the game with some friends in the dorms, and then celebrated at a bonfire on the Mall with virtually all of the student body.
What is your favorite place on campus?
Foster Center for Student Innovation. In the spirit of full disclosure, I was a graduate assistant at the center while completing my MBA.
Favorite professor or mentor?
Paul Myer, executive in residence at the Maine Business School. While we didn’t always see eye-to-eye, he was forthright, constantly challenging me, and always willing to take the time to sit down and discuss my professional development and my future.
Class that nearly did you in?
Astronomy — never discount the importance of learning those constellations.
While in Orono, I spent too much time … eating burritos at Verve.
Best UMaine tradition?
Maine Day is a great UMaine tradition. It provides a great opportunity to give back to our community and have fun with friends while doing it. Getting that day off from classes on one of the early days of typically beautiful spring weather doesn’t hurt either.
If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have… moved off campus after only one semester. I moved into a house with some college friends, but lost touch with some of the on-campus life that I would have otherwise been further exposed to.
Advice to other or incoming UMaine students?
Get involved early on and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. I guarantee you that most others are feeling just as nervous, excited and anxious, and you have the opportunity to create for yourself one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life. It will go by faster than you think, but you will meet some of your closest friends and learn more than you realize both academically and personally. Don’t let it pass you by, enjoy yourself responsibly and good luck!
Image Description: Nicholas Nadeau