I am a transfer student from Santa Monica College. I went in as a business major and as I continued moving forward I decided that I wanted to transfer as an international business student to a CSU or UC. After doing my research, SDSU became my first choice because of the great reputation the International Business program has. At the time the program was ranked twelfth in the nation and has now become fourth in the nation. Although this program is very competitive it is amazing because as students, we have the opportunity to choose a region, language, and business focus. With that being said, my major is International Business with an emphasis in Spanish and Latin America and a business focus in Management Information Systems. Something that stood out to me, was that unlike other schools, the program required to study abroad in your region on focus. I saw this as a great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, get to travel, and expand my knowledge as well as my resume. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic my study abroad program at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Guadalajara, Jalisco was canceled. Although I was looking forward to spending my last semester as an undergraduate abroad I do not regret transferring to SDSU. I fell in love with the campus since the first time I visited and I am thankful for all the opportunities and connections I have made throughout my journey in San Diego.
My favorite courses during my undergrad time at SDSU were Global Marketing Strategy as well as International Business Protocol and Diplomacy. I gained an extensive amount of knowledge about different cultures and how to make business internationally. What I liked the most is that the professors teaching these courses were able to share their personal experiences related to the lectures, it did not only depend on textbooks and theories, which made it less difficult to process and absorb. I learned what to do and not to do when making business abroad. These classes definitely gave me the confidence I need to become successful in the business world. I believe culture has a big influence on a person and therefore it is important to show respect to all cultures especially because in the workforce we often work with people from different backgrounds. Just like there are different cultures, the marketing strategies also vary within all cultures. You cannot advertise one product with the same ad internationally, in order to be successful you must advertise the product according to your audience values and create a personal connection. Culture is what defines the person therefore, it is critical to analyze your target audience and understand their values in order to be able to make that personal connection. I have always been passionate in learning about other cultures different than mine which is why these two classes were my favorite.
During my first semester at SDSU, I joined a student organization that is part of USFC. This organization allowed me to expand my network with other students and alumni in different fields. The organization’s pillars are academics, philanthropy, multiculturalism, sisterhood, and professionalism. One of the most memorable experiences I have in this organization was the time we fundraised and collected donations for the Tecate orphanage. We organized along with another organization and planned a day for us to drop off the donations, buy the kids food, and spend an entire day with them teaching them math, literature, and playing games. This was a unique experience because we were able to give back to kids in need with no families. There were kids of all ages, from newborns to eighteen-year-olds. I like how my organization gives back to the community in any possible way. In addition to that, I was able to fill a marketing intern position at a company that works with Cannabis Customer Experience Management software. I’ve had the opportunity to work with very knowledgeable people who have helped me put my business ethics into practice and keep developing as a professional.
In conclusion, I am thankful for my journey at San Diego State University. The International Business program has amazing professors and staff that guide you through the undergraduate experience. I want to keep developing as a professional within the business industry and return to school for my MBA. I am looking forward to what there is to come and know that if I continue to work hard I will achieve my personal and educational goals.
Joanna is an International Business major with an emphasis in Spanish and Latin America.