As I began thinking about what to write about for my college essay, the first thing I thought of was how big of an impact that my trip to the Dominican Republic just had on my life. At that time I had just returned from a month long trip to the DR, where I lived with a host family, taught English at a children’s summer camp, took leadership and Spanish classes, and spent a week site seeing. It was a life changing experience for a small town Vermont girl who had never been past New York State. Those four short weeks taught more about life than I could have ever imagined. Even to this day, it is a rarity for me to not be somehow reminded of all of the lessons that it taught me.
Following my acceptance to Plymouth State, I needed to pick a major. Being unfamiliar with essentially every part of college, I selected a major simply based on where most of my interest laid. With my passion for understanding why humans are the way that they are, I knew that it was between Psychology and Sociology. Although psychology is a fascinating subject to me, I chose Sociology. I knew that the major had both sociology and anthropology components to it, which helps me understand why people do the things that they do, now and in the past. It also helps me to understand people here in the United States, as well as abroad. The first semester of my freshman year I felt that I had selected the right major. But as the year progressed and I started thinking of career plans, I began to reconsider if sociology truly was the best decision for me.
After reaching out to different professors throughout the year I had realized that what I was missing from my major was some of the skill sets that come along with some business classes. Later, I discovered all of the ins and out of the interdisciplinary major. I truly found the perfect major for myself.
Majoring in interdisciplinary studies will allow me to obtain all of the courses that I will need to satisfy all of my passions, as well as the necessary skill sets to have a successful career. I have designed my major to have a general theme of marketing, and anthropology, as well as courses in sociology, Spanish and Psychology. I am calling it Cross-Cultural Marketing Studies. Plymouth State does not offer a major that would allow me to take such a combination of marketing and humanities courses that are necessary to purse the type of career that I hope for.
With this degree, I intend on potentially working for a study abroad agency to help other students travel abroad so they can have experiences similar to the one that I had. I also would be able to work in a global education office at a college to help students get a valuable time abroad as well as earning credit with their classes. Another option that this major would allow for me to do purse is a variety of different administrative positions within a university. I genuinely enjoy assisting college students with gaining the valuable skills that college education provides. Overall, this major would certainly give me a world of opportunity.
In order to major in something that is as global as this one, I felt that it would be an important piece to include a foreign language. Having taken three years of Spanish in high school, the number of Spanish speaking countries in the world, and the number of Spanish speakers in the United States, it seemed more than relevant to continue with my Spanish language education. During my semester at The University of New Orleans, being in a place that is so richly made up of a diverse culture, taking 1020 Basic Spanish II only made sense to me. Upon completing that course, I wanted to put my Spanish language knowledge to the test. Following that semester I spent winterim in Salamanca Spain taking a 2 week long Spanish course, 2020 Intensive Intermediate. During my time there I also lived with a host family where I was able to improve my language skills. Both of these courses will give me the foundation of Spanish that I will need to be successful when working with Spanish speakers here in the United States, as well if I need to communicate with people from any Spanish speaking country.
I chose AN 2210 Cultural Anthropology to help me to have an overview of all cultures. To give myself a broader perspective of cultures that are vastly different from mine, I added AN3999 New Orleans Public Culture to. AN3400 Anthropology of Sub-Saharan Africa was also added to help me to have a more global sense of culture. Lastly, An 3999 Race and Nation in the Spanish Caribbean is another course that I chose to help me to better apply the Spanish courses that I have taken. I believe that these courses helped me to get insight on different customs and traditions that are used across the world.
To compliment the anthropology in my major, I have chosen two sociology courses. SO2220 Foundations of Sociology is another course in the humanities that I thought would be helpful in my major. It will help me to get a broad overview of how and why different types of people are who they are. To add to that, I also took SO3030 Social Psychology build upon my basic understanding of sociology and to give me some insight to the psychology of people as well.
A communications course that I think would be helpful is CM 3090 Technical Communication because in a field having so much to do with travel, it is imperative to be able to have clear writing skills. In which ever business setting that I end up being in, it will certainly be helpful being able to be able to help my company work through both the cultural challenges as well as any logistical concerns. In addition, this is also a TECO and WRCO class, which will satisfy the technology and writing component in my major.
To add to my Technical Communication course for TECO and WRCO, I have also chosen MA 1900 Statistical Literacy In Today’s Society to complete my QRCO. I believe that this course will be useful for me because having some statistics skills are helpful for evaluating reports in the media as well as other sociocultural concerns. Whether I am the one going on a big trip, or I am working with others who are preparing for travel, it will be important to understand all of the numbers that are being reported in all current events. This course will give me just enough basic statistical knowledge to be successful.
The final piece to my major is the marketing component. To help me start off, I thought it would be best to understand the groundwork of marketing strategies in BU 2450 Principles of Marketing. This will certainly help me get a leg up since it is likely that I will need to market the programs that I will be trying to convince people to take advantage of. To build off of that, I have also selected BU3340 Consumer Behavior to help me to better understand my target audience. On top of that, I have also added BU 3370 Branding and Marketing Communication to help me better understand how to make my company stand out from the rest. That is important to me because no matter what company I am working for, it is always important to understand how to set company a part from the rest. Another course that is relevant to me is BU3480 Social Media Strategies, because this course will give me the tools that I will need in a field that is growing more dependent upon social media. With that being said, it is important that I am able to utilize this tool to better communicate with my better customers. Once I properly market whatever program that I am advising people to take advantage of, I will need to be sure that I have the skills to properly sell it to the person to ensure that they follow through with it. The last business course that I have chosen is BU3350 Event Marketing, which is where I will learn how to effectively market events to people. Having the ability to effectively market an event is more than relevant in the field of work that I am going into.
I feel that BU3460 Small Business/Entrepreneurship Marketing and Operations, and EC4444 Introduction to International Economics in Latin America are courses that are more pertinent to my overall program of study. International Economics in Latin America will help me to better understand the connection between the business world and the behaviors that people may have on a more global scale. Small Business/Entrepreneurship Marketing and Operations will help me to better understand the bigger picture of how a company markets to people. I want to add a 3 credit business internship to my major because having hands on experience in my field of study is advantageous when it comes to applying for job in my field. It also helps me to clearly see the connections between my academics and the field of work that I hope to go into.
In addition to the courses that I have listed above, I will also be taking IS 2222 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies to help me to better understand all aspects of interdisciplinary studies. Also, I as the end of my time here at Plymouth, I will also be taking IS 4444 Interdisciplinary Studies to complete my major by learning interdisciplinary research methods, applying my knowledge to real world situations and learning how to better market the major that I have created for myself. Furthermore, with my remaining elective courses that I have, I intend to travel abroad to help me to have more insight into other cultures so I will be able to better assist people is the traveling abroad.
To conclude, the major that I have created will give me all of the knowledge and skills that will be essential for helping people to go abroad in all types of ways. As well as allowing me to choose classes that I find interesting, so I will thoroughly enjoy what I will be studying while being an undergrad. Since I have found a good combination of courses, from all different disciplines, and they have fallen under one topic being International Marketing Studies, the major seems to fit in perfectly with interdisciplinary studies. Overall, these courses will help me to integrate global understanding, travel and marketing that will allow me to contribute to the world of cross-cultural exchange.