Diane M. Hardy
Degree/Year: B.A., International Studies and Spanish, 1992
Current Employer: Milwaukee Public Schools (Rufus King International School)
Title: Spanish Teacher
I started studying Spanish as a high school freshman because some of my friends were Latinos, but I had hoped for a career in Washington, D.C., when I graduated from Bradley. Before doing that, though, I wanted to serve in the Peace Corps. I needed volunteer hours to be accepted, so I started tutoring immigrant children and soon realized education is my calling. I returned to college to get my teaching license.
I am fortunate that I go to work every day in an incredibly diverse school named Rufus King International School. It is an International Baccalaureate school that takes an international approach to education. Our school includes primarily African-American students with significant Caucasian, Asian, Arab, and Latino populations.
Having a liberal arts degree has given me tremendous flexibility in my career. While at Bradley, I was encouraged to study abroad, take classes from other departments and intern in Washington, D.C. Between the BU classroom and its extra-curricular activities, I was able to further my knowledge and even challenge long-held beliefs.
Watching Bradley grow and progress has been a thrill for me. As a forensics coach, I have brought students to BU’s great tournaments. When I started at BU, there were limited opportunities for study abroad, but now students can go all over the world and study languages and cultures of countries that are less traveled.
Never close yourself off from any different path. Most students going into IS plan a career in the foreign service. While some of my BU friends have gone to work for the State Department and on Capitol Hill, others went into education, journalism and business. There are so many ways to use our skills in IS.
Degree/Graduation year: B.A., International Studies and French with minors in Spanish and Western European Studies, 1995
Current Employer: Olin Business School, Washington University of St. Louis
Title: Director of International Programs and Global Initiatives
Two of the strengths of Bradley are the size and the people. Sure, there are larger departments of International Studies, but the size of Bradley means you really get to know the faculty and you have plenty of opportunities to get involved. Having worked at larger institutions I see that it is unusual for undergrads to have the access to faculty that students do at Bradley and particularly in the International Studies department. I like that the IS curriculum is so interdisciplinary. I feel like I got a great grounding in international studies and it set me up to do whatever I wanted in my career.
I am now at Washington University in St. Louis in a strategic position and I'm very happy to return to the city where I grew up. I also have amazing travel opportunities as a result of my job. I caught the travel bug while studying abroad in France as a student at Bradley and it never left. I really enjoy working with students and helping them to have such a transformative experience. I know my study abroad experience was life changing for me. It took a shy, sheltered mid-Western girl and turned her into a confident, capable professional.
I am happy to provide advice to students, especially those that are interested in the field of international education. I was introduced to Danielle Samek, a recent International Studies grad who was interning in Seville, Spain, the same summer I was doing a job share with CIEE in Seville. We got to know each other that month in Spain and when I found out that she was interested in international education I offered her an unpaid internship in my office at Indiana University, where I worked previously. Because it was unpaid, she ended up living with us that summer. I was happy to serve as a reference for her after graduation from graduate school and she was eventually hired as a study abroad advisor at Indiana University. She has a great future ahead of her!
Degree/Graduation year: B.A., International Studies, Spanish, French, 2000
Current Employer: KPMG, Sydney, Australia
Title: Manager, Global Transfer Pricing Services, Customs & Excise
Initially, it was the variety of coursework and experience of the professors that attracted me to Bradley’s Institute of International Studies. After meeting with Professor Charles Bukowski and discussing both the practical and theoretical approach of the learning environment of the Institute, I knew it was the place where I wanted to spend my university years.
In addition, the warm and welcoming environment of Bradley and the Institute in particular helped me feel that I would be supported in my educational endeavors and have a home away from home while I was studying.
My Bradley education provided me with the background to understand other cultures, learn foreign languages (I studied Spanish and French as well as International Studies) and helped me develop an understanding of international agreements in the context of both international and local trade.
The theoretical and practical understanding of international relations that I learned while at Bradley have been invaluable to my career, which is currently focused on local interpretations of World Trade Organization, World Customs Organization and Organization of Economic States agreements and guidelines.
Living and working internationally gives me a greater perspective on both world affairs and myself. What I most enjoy is the variety of people I have met through working in Belgium, Singapore and now Australia. These people have shaped my experience and knowing them has ensured that I do not take a one-sided approach to either my career or my personal life.
Degree/Graduation year: B.A., International Studies, Spanish, French, 2008
Current Employer: Indiana University Office of Overseas Studies
Title: Study Abroad Advisor
My education at Bradley, and in particular the Institute of International Studies, more than sufficiently prepared me to take on graduate school and to begin a career in international education. It helped me gain the knowledge I needed to be successful and connected me to a network that would help me get into a field that is highly competitive. I would not be where I am now without the help of my mentors in the IS department and the IS alumni network.
Dr. Charles Bukowski connected me with an IS alum, Tammy Orahood, who was working in International Education while I was still a student at Bradley. Tammy and I both ended up in Spain for a summer where she was shadowing staff at the CIEE Seville study center and I was interning. Later, when I was looking for an internship in a study abroad office in the U.S., Tammy invited me to work with her in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. After I completed graduate school Tammy was one of my references. Without her help and the support of the IS department, it would have been much more difficult to get into the field.
I am still in contact with my mentors from Bradley and with IS alumni on a regular basis. Even after graduation you are still part of the IS family, no matter how far you wander or how long you've been away.