Halfway through her first undergraduate degree, Liza Al Jarrah, BIB/12, came to the realization that her chosen career path was not a good fit. Looking for a change, she was drawn to the Bachelor of International Business (BIB) program at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, for the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of international business, gain a new language, and study abroad. 

“I really liked how the BIB program was structured,” said Liza. “I love meeting new people and interacting with them, and I like to make a difference and see it. I think it’s one of the best programs that Carleton offers because it covers so many different areas, such as cross-cultural communication, organizational behavior, and learning a new language. It’s not just commerce, there’s a lot more to it. That’s when I knew I wanted to pursue a BIB from Sprott.”

Choosing French as her language of study, Liza travelled to the city of Lyon, France for her year on exchange. Having already spoken Arabic and Mandarin, she wanted to become fluent in French, as it is one of Canada’s official languages. However, before leaving for her exchange, she had not mastered the language quite yet. Liza was nervous, unsure of how her experience abroad would be.

“Once I started meeting people on exchange, I became a lot more comfortable,” said Liza. “Till today, I still have friends from all over the world. We stay in touch, and a few of us still travel together. I think going on exchange is something everyone should do, if they can, even if it’s just for a few months. The self-exploration journey alone- getting to know who you are as a person is worth it. It changed the way I saw the world completely.”

Liza looks back on her experiences at Carleton University fondly. After graduating from the BIB program, she went on to pursue her Master of Arts in International Affairs at Carleton. Now, she works for Shopify Plus as an Enterprise Account Executive. 

“I had a really good experience at Carleton. I always felt comfortable going to my counsellors or professors, and that they were really there to help me succeed. I think when we look back on our experiences, what we remember is how we felt in the moment. If you leave with a good feeling, that’s what really matters about an experience.

When I finished my undergrad, I started working for a foreign government agency in their legal affairs department. Afterwards, I was recruited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, managing their international programs and business activities and recently started working for Shopify Plus. Seeing as it is a global ecommerce company, I’ve been prepared well for this role through my studies at Carleton and previous work experience.”

Having worked jobs that required Liza to travel frequently, she has some advice for students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a global career that may take them around the world. 

“Do some travelling beforehand and figure out how often you want to travel. When I first started working, I signed up to travel every two months. It was crazy, but I really enjoyed it. Travelling and going to new places sounds great to everybody, but you have to remember that you are working at the same time.” “You have to also remember to stay true to our goals and what you believe in, opportunities come and go and it’s easy to get caught up in them, but the experiences you create and your attitude towards them are in your control”.

As an alumna, Liza stays involved with Sprott. She has participated in Sprott Serves, where a group of alumni volunteer for a community organization, along with other alumni initiatives. 

“After having such memorable experiences at Carleton and Sprott, I wanted to give back. I was also a mentor for BIB students after I finished my undergraduate degree, and I helped students prepare for their year abroad. Being involved as an alumna is great for networking, but also really great for helping others in the Sprott community. ”

Monday, September 23, 2019 in ,
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