Meet Raegan Baty, a WMU graduate who studied marketing abroad in Italy and economics in the Dominican Republic! After graduating in 2019, with a BBA in Marketing, Raegan accepted a position at Blue Wheel Media as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist. The one word that Raegan used to describe her experience studying abroad was “opportunity.” These are the questions that Raegan reflected on from her experience abroad:
What skills did you learn/sharpen during study abroad that you utilize daily? Professionally or personally.
“During study abroad, I learned to use the envelope budgeting method. I organized my money for a specific trip that I wanted to take on the weekends, food treats, and transportation. This is a skill that I utilize daily in my personal life.”
How has study abroad prepared you for your future?
“Studying abroad has shaped my career goals. I am currently in the process of beginning to study for a master's degree in Digital Marketing and Communications in Italy for a year. Studying abroad also prepared me to be a student of life and pay attention to the world, and the people around me. I've learned that I want to continue to travel and experience other cultures while building meaningful relationships in a safe environment because I think we can all learn something from each other if we take the time to listen and understand someone else's way of life while enriching our own.”
What was the biggest impact that study abroad left on you?
“Studying abroad left me wanting more from the world. Once I saw that there was life outside of Michigan that I could reach, my mind began to race with excitement. I began building a list of specific cities in countries that I wanted to experience, and seeing itineraries on Pinterest and seeking Youtube videos of people who had been all over the world and what they had learned. This curiosity in the way other people lived their lives, and why led me to apply for master's programs abroad with the goal of purely traveling afterward to soak up new life and new energy.”
What would you say to someone that was hesitant to study abroad?
“Study abroad is most likely cheaper than studying at your home campus. There is a vast amount of study abroad scholarships available for all students, at all stages; through your local library, through your major department, through your school's study abroad office, through Google internet searches, and through local businesses in your community. If you take the time to look, you will pay less for a semester abroad than a semester at your home campus. I am living proof. A semester abroad in Italy through the CIMBA program costs, $18,225 in 2018, I paid $535, not including the plane ticket. You can study abroad every fall and spring semester and every summer, for less!”
How did being immersed in a new culture change your perspective on the future?
“Study abroad prompted a curiosity in me in the way other people lived their lives, which led me to apply for master's programs abroad with the goal of purely traveling afterward to soak up new life and new energy. I want to continue to travel and experience other cultures while building meaningful relationships in a safe environment because I think we can all learn something from each other if we take the time to listen and understand someone else's way of life while enriching our own.”
Did studying abroad help you professionally? How so?
“Studying abroad has sparked interest from my employers, and does prompt interview questions. I think studying abroad does set me apart in the competitive job market and during the interview, I discuss my learnings abroad and how I can apply them in my professional life to help me succeed in whatever role I'm applying for at the time.”
Raegan, thank you for studying abroad at WMU and for sharing your experience with us!