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Global awareness leads to global competence

October 6, 2011

Brianna Oliver ’11 wanted to see the world, so she approached her education at Appalachian from an international perspective.

An internship in Cambridge, England, led to an overseas trip to Ecuador, where her ability to connect with the local people was critical to her research on the impact of the oil industry on indigenous communities in the Amazon Rain Forest.

“I always knew a career in international development, communications and marketing was the way to go for me,” Oliver said. “I have used my Appalachian State education quite well.”

Oliver said the network of mentors she had at Appalachian helped guide her on the path from college to the professional world. After graduation, she took a full-time position with Samaritan’s Purse in Sendai, Japan, where she was the program manager for earthquake and tsunami disaster relief projects.

“It was a fascinating opportunity, working in disaster relief for a non-profit,” Oliver said. “I was able to work not only with communications and marketing, but also logistics, finances and construction.”

Oliver is now in Washington, D.C., working as a communications and development coordinator with the U.S. Campaign for Burma.

Oliver said the leadership and scholar programs she participated in at Appalachian helped her expand the scope of her goals.

“I was always excited about going to class, going to work and being consistently challenged along the way,” she said. “I couldn't have asked for a better experience.”