Living the mission
After a study abroad experience, an alumna now calls Cambodia home
Three years ago, Kerry Slattery (MBA '13) had just moved to Chicago with a degree in biology and wanted to switch jobs. This past fall, she packed her bags and went to teach international marketing at the National University of Management in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
In January 2012, Slattery attended Quinlan's Southeast Asia study abroad program, a 10-day consumer behavior course in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, led by Clifford Shultz, PhD, Charles H. Kellstadt Chair of Marketing. She immediately fell in love with Cambodia.
After returning home, Slattery began researching education and women’s issues in developing countries and how to use business to achieve social goals. Then, as she started looking for jobs, she found herself thinking back to Cambodia and decided to turn to her professor for help.
Shultz tapped into his vast overseas network to help Slattery land her first global gig. “If we really believe in this mantra ‘preparing people to lead extraordinary lives,’ Kerry is the poster child of that,” Schulz says.
Slattery teaches Business Ethics and International Marketing at the university. “For me, it’s exciting to be in the middle of the education system and watch certain superstars of the next generation present their business idea at an entrepreneurship competition or argue their side during a debate,” she says.
Slattery will be in Cambodia for at least two more years, and possibly longer if things continue to go well. She would eventually like to move toward social entrepreneurship in her newfound home, but first, she is working to recruit recent Quinlan graduates to join her in teaching at the National University of Management in four-month stints. “My passion is fueled by the knowledge that it’s a perfect match between supply and demand,” Slattery says. In April, she made the trip back to Chicago and hosted three information sessions on campus.
“She’ll clearly be a good ambassador,” Shultz says. “I’m hopeful this becomes the early bricks in the foundation for other Quinlan students.”