Amanda Garcia

Amanda Garcia

Alumni Spotlight

Klein Global Opportunities (GO), formerly known as Study Away, provides opportunities in the U.S. and internationally for all students through academic and practical experience. We aim to assist students in becoming influential leaders and empowered global citizens. Programs range from ten days to semester long. Klein GO programs are designed to not only enhance a student’s marketability in the workplace, but to also cultivate their global perspective in a growing multicultural environment. Through guidance and expertise, we encourage our community to propose and participate in international and domestic experiential learning.
*Some responses have been slightly edited for clarity and consolidation purposes.

When and where did you study away?
I was lucky enough to study away twice– one semester during my junior year in Rome, Italy, and multiple times with the Communities and Organizations in NYC program, (both my junior and senior years).

What was your program like?  
The New York program has a unique quality to it in that you really do make it what you want it to be, and you’re able to personalize the experience as much as possible. I was able to pick an individualized topic for a project and follow it through on my own, while also having the parallel experience of joining Dr. Gratson and the class group for bigger activities. New York City is definitely deceiving– you think a city only a train ride away will be similar to Philadelphia, but the history and the cultural experiences available there really open you up to things you never knew you’d be interested in. I like to think of the New York program as the best Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, where you’re the hero and Dr. Gratson is your spiritual guide.

Has studying abroad helped you in your professional life? Your personal life?
Studying abroad really enhances your sense of curiosity, and that’s helped me tremendously in both my professional and personal life. I originally started working in a television legal department, convinced I’d go to law school, but realized that the marketing and digital meetings were the best parts of my day. I ended up indulging my curiosity to learn more about those departments, and I’m now in a job where I get to combine both. I also think studying abroad brings out your inner adventure– once you feel like you’re comfortable in a new city, you realize that you can learn to be comfortable in a variety of places. It opens up an incredible amount of options.

Are there lessons you’d consider invaluable from your experience?
Re-learning how to do something as simple as getting to class has been completely invaluable. In New York particularly, navigating even one section of the subway is difficult. It forces you to knock over all of your preconceived notions of how you should do something or how something should work and to embrace how the city functions in order to be a part of it. That lesson applies for basically everything– new relationships, new jobs, new apartments, etc.

How has your experience guided your career path?
My experience definitely opened me up to the idea of actually being able to live and work in New York. It was a dream of mine for a long time, but actually getting a taste of it really showed me that not only was it possible, but that I thrived here and really connected with the city. It also reminded me of how much I wanted to live here. There are definitely those days when the subway is delayed, the work day seems about ten hours too long, everything seems too expensive, and the city exhausts you. But during those moments, I think about how my college-self would be SO excited if I knew what my life would be like only years later, and it focuses me back on why I love living here.

Where are you now? What do you do?
I currently live in New York City (in Brooklyn, the best borough!).
After positions at Comcast, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and NBC News, I’m now at CBS Interactive. My role as Senior Manager of Partnerships means that I get to promote our CBS digital brands across platform partners like Apple, Google, Roku, Amazon and PlayStation.

How do you feel studying away help you get there?
As I’ve said up above, studying in other cities made me realize that I could actually do it– I could actually live in New York. That alleviated my fears of taking the chance.

Advice to current students studying away and/or prospective students considering doing so?
No matter what location and no matter the length of time, DO IT. Even if it’s only a couple of weeks, and even if it’s a city you think you already know, getting out of the Temple community means you can put more back into it. More experience, more knowledge, more passion, and more crazy college stories about getting lost, meeting random people, trying new foods, and drinking (as long as you’re of legal drinking age, obviously).