Double Degree Program opens doors to international career for student
Traveling is a central part of who Alejandra Ramirez (BBA ’20) is. A dual citizen of Honduras and the U.S., she traveled all over the world before college, including spending her gap year living and working in Antwerp, Belgium.
But soon college beckoned. She knew she wanted to attend an American university, but she couldn’t shake her desire to travel. What she found at Loyola was a perfect fit.
She began her college career at Loyola’s Rome Center in the Rome Start program. She then entered Quinlan’s U.S./Europe Double Degree program, which enables undergraduates to earn business degrees from both Loyola Chicago and Universidad Loyola Andalucía.
Over the course of four years, double degree students spend five semesters in Chicago, two semesters in Spain, and one in Rome. Needless to say, this is not your typical study abroad program.
Working in Europe
The combination of a European and an American degree gives students the opportunity to pursue careers around the world. While in Spain, Ramirez interned at Deutsche Bank, an experience she credits to the Double Degree program.
“I took classes in Spain on financial institutions, so those classes helped me be more ingrained in the operations and understandings of how banks work,” she says.
She sees the benefits of the program extending well into her career.
“That European degree will open doors to multinational companies like the Big 4 in accounting, so students can work abroad or work here and help them operate all over the world,” she says.
New type of study abroad
This program differs greatly from other study abroad experiences, according to Ramirez. “With the double degree, you’re working on earning a degree from another university while you study abroad. The program is really demanding.”
But she still has time to travel. In fact, one of Ramirez’s favorite experiences came when her classes took her to Brussels. “We went to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to teach us how to work in the EU. It was just when Brexit happened, and the EU was doing elections. I was there for a historic moment because of this program.”
Perhaps the most unique part of this program is the worldwide community.
“I made so many new friendships and they’re all over the world,” says Ramirez. “I met so many people outside my usual groups that would not have happened if I had stayed in Chicago. Those relationships are my best memories from abroad.”