Pre-departure interview with Vicki Rectenwald
Vicki asked us if we would give her a pre-departure interview before she leaves for Spain in the fall.
Vicki Rectenwald began college a little differently than most do. She is a single mother of three who decided to attend college after her kid’s grew up. Now that her children are grown-up she can focus on her own professional goals. Vicki said that working twenty years in doing whatever job she could without a college degree was a huge motivator to attend college. Vicki is double majoring in Marketing and International Business. She will be attending Universidad de Granada in Spain for a full academic year. Vicki hopes to work in international trade marketing exports across oceans. We interviewed Vicki before she departs in August and plan on interviewing her when she returns to see how much her life has been altered!
What are you looking forward to the most living about living in Spain?
Living a very different lifestyle, seeing things from a different economic and political perspective. I want to see all of southern Spain, the blend of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian influences on the architecture and art. I’m excited to walk on roads built by the romans, walk through cathedrals that were formerly mosques, and see the rich paintings and sculpture, all of the art work. Seeing Flamenco in person would be nice.
What do you think the biggest cultural adjustment will be?
The biggest change fro me, especially as an American business student, is the different pace of life and emphasis on personal interaction that is part of Spanish culture. The tradition of siesta is wholeheartedly embraced, and they do not know show the same level of urgency to focus on success that we do. That does not mean they do no have the same desire to succeed they just approach it differently, and it is important for my future in international to gain better understanding of this perspective
What are you expecting to gain through studying abroad?
I’m expecting to gain a lot professionally and academically. I hope to have an understanding of different perspective that will help me with my career. Most of all personal reasons, to expand myself as a person and have an understanding of other people and cultures. Studying abroad will help me focus on cross-cultural marketing.
Were you conflicted in the choices you had picking a location to study abroad at?
I originally wanted to apply to Cordoba, which is an hour away from Granada. However, Granada has a stronger business, and international program. I did want to choose my location and didn’t want anyone else to choose it for me. People have asked me, “Why not Chile?” which is a more common place to improve Spanish. Personal reasons influenced my choice; I’ve wanted to go to Spain since I was a little girl.
Do you plan to travel anywhere else in Europe?
Italy, Greece, Tunisia, and Morocco would be great! I have a friend who’s trying to recruit me to get my MBA in Tunisia, so I will visit there and see how I like it.