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Student Spotlight:

Katherine Hairsine, Junior International Business Major

The Evolution of an International Business Student: From RV to L’Occitane

Katherine Hairsine
Katherine Hairsine

My love of travel started when I was a child. When I was eight years old, my parents decided to move my family of four from our home in Harford County, MD, into an RV and travel the country for a year. By the time I was nine, I had been to 48 states and taken part in the various cultures and lifestyles that exist throughout America.

My interest in business also started early. I always have had what people call a "business mindset." I can remember being six years old and lining up all my video games and charging my brother and his friends to play them. I began knitting and selling my designs and creations at craft shows when I was 12, and I started my own eBay business at 14. The idea of creating something or finding the value in a new idea or product thrills me.

My passions for travel and business were piqued when I found out Salisbury University was beginning to offer international business as a major starting my freshman year. When I attended Admitted Students Day, I was told about a program that involved spending an entire year in France studying how to brand and market a product or company line all over the world, and that anyone who did this program would graduate with a dual degree in four years. This opportunity was my entire reason for attending Salisbury University! Now a junior, I am part of this exciting program and am studying at Grenoble University in France for one year.

For my first semester abroad, I am studying basic international courses, including accounting and economics. These courses are very similar to the ones I would be taking at Salisbury; they go toward my international business degree and look at concepts from a global perspective. My second semester in Grenoble, I study more ‘exotic’ topics such as brand management and digital marketing. I will really be learning about how to create and market a brand globally, which is really exciting to me!

I currently work for a French skincare company called L’Occitane, and I ADORE their products. All of their products are made from essential oils that are harvested in Provence, and I am very excited to actually see the fields from which these oils are harvested. I also am excited to just travel as much as possible. Grenoble is so close to many locations that I’ll be able to travel all the time without much difficulty. I already have purchased a train ticket that will allow me to travel as much as I want at a low cost.

This experience is an important step in my career path. I want to work in global markets and to be able to brand a product so that it will survive and thrive across the world. I love the United States, but in the big picture, and in business especially, it is only one small part of a very big whole. There are so many doors and connections that can be made overseas that can be beneficial to all, and I really hope to use them to my benefit as I form my career.