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Educational trips abroad have shaped freshman's career goals

Business major Hunter McCormick is interested in international diplomacy

August 11, 2020

Studying abroad is a valuable and enriching experience that many students pursue while at Arizona State University.

But incoming first-year student Hunter McCormick has already had two educational trips abroad, and those experiences have shaped her career goals as she prepares to major in business at ASU.

McCormick, who lives in Ahwatukee, answered some questions from ASU Now.

Question: Where did you go on your study abroad experiences?

Answer: I have completed two different study abroad experiences. The first one was following my junior year. I was a youth ambassador through the city of Phoenix Sister Cities program, where I spent three weeks in Himeji, Japan, with a host family learning about the culture and way of life in a small rural community. After that my Japanese host sister came to Phoenix for three weeks and lived with my family and had the opportunity to learn about Phoenix, including a trip to ASU!

This past year I was selected for an NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth) scholarship through the U.S. State Department. Only five youths were chosen from across the United States. We spent a year living in Delhi, India, attending school six days a week specifically to learn the Hindi language and learn more about Indian culture. The purpose of this program is to inspire a new generation to learn and study the lesser-known languages, like Hindi, so in the future we can put these language skills to use through government work fostering goodwill and expanding intercultural relationships.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because it is an amazing school with a diverse student body and unlimited options for programs of study. Going to ASU I will also have the opportunity to study abroad and continue to fulfill my passion of travel and learning. Of course, the stellar reputation of the W. P. Carey School of Business means that upon graduating I will have a strong foundation to continue my education or begin my career in international business.

Q: What is your major and why did you choose it?

A: My major is in business with a concentration in public service and public policy. I chose this major because I want to be able to put my experiences abroad to use in a way that will have a global impact. I am hoping my education from ASU will help prepare me for a career within a government agency that can influence and possibly even create policies that will foster better intercultural relations and diplomacy worldwide.

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

A: I am honestly really excited about starting classes that will challenge me in my areas of interest. I can’t wait to meet other students who have similar values and passion about what is happening in the world and how together we can be changemakers for a better future.

Q: What do you like to brag about to friends about ASU?

A: Well I really love ASU’s Charter, “We will be measured not by whom we exclude, but rather whom we include and how they succeed.” I have encouraged many of my international friends to come to ASU — in fact, my incoming roommate will be coming from India. We are inclusive and welcoming of students from every corner of the world. There is always a place for everyone to succeed at ASU.

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: From my experiences both in the States and abroad I believe I bring a more global perspective and a desire to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for other students whether they’re international students, students from diverse backgrounds, or even students who have come from foster care like myself. I will be looking for ways to put my care and compassion for a diverse and just community to work on campus. I also really love being challenged and have a strong worth ethic so I’m not afraid to push back on the status quo.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: I hope to be prepared for continuing my education for an advanced degree and take advantage of every single opportunity that comes my way; internships, job, research opportunities during my time undergraduate time at ASU. I hope to make lifetime friends and really network to make connections that will be critical for my future career.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: An interesting fact about me is that in my senior year of high school, I was No. 1 in the state for congressional debate. I competed in debate for four years and was able to travel to Boston, Chicago and Dallas to compete in the National Speech and Debate Competition. It was quite an amazing experience and really prepared me to have a much greater awareness and understanding of world events.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: With $40 million I would love to help children who have experienced foster care overcome the financial barriers to college. Having experienced foster care as a young child, I never dreamed I would be able to attend a great university like ASU. I would really like to be able to help youth that may not be as fortunate as I was, adopted by parents who valued higher education — and are both alumni of ASU! — who helped me to get where I am. The sad statistics are that about 20% of foster youth attend college and only about 3% end up graduating because they aren’t given the proper support and resources desperately needed. So it’s not just about tuition, but providing support with learning life skills, community and social engagement and emotional support to hang in there.

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