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Sydney Crogan (2012 National Scholar) was awarded the David E. Ritchie Grant in 2016. She enrolled in Fall 2016 at the University of Victoria’s Sardul S. Gill Graduate School to pursue her Master of Global Business. She successfully completed the program earlier this year, after studying in multiple countries over three continents. View pictures from Sydney’s travels here, and read more about her experiences below:

 

 What made you pursue this opportunity?  Did you have any concerns?

I graduated with my Bachelors in Business Administration focusing on Economics and Marketing in May 2016 and had a very attractive job offer starting in July with a popular retail company. I felt like I had a plan for my life and everything was falling into place… until I received an email from HAA. A free Master’s degree? I could not pass up this opportunity! I had never been to the west coast of the United States, let alone South Korea! I was terrified, but I knew this opportunity would allow me to grow into the person I wanted to be – a doer. Dreaming of traveling the world and actually traveling the world are two very different things. During the application process, I was not very serious about the possibility of attending the MGB program. I was comfortable with the idea of living in Boston and going to work every day from 9-5. But my decision was made; the fear of regret heavily outweighed my fear of unpredictability.I questioned every moment of my decision to study abroad with the MGB, until I arrived in Victoria. Stepping foot onto the University of Victoria campus in late August 2016, I was surrounded by diversity and inspiration. In that moment, I knew I had made a decision that would forever change my life.

 

Were you aware of programs like this before the Association sent you the information to apply?

No, I was completely unaware that any programs like the MGB existed before HAA reached out and sent me the information! The Masters of Global Business is a very unique program that allows you to travel the world, meet like-minded people, and get a prestigious education. There are many different geographic locations that the MBG can take you to including: Austria, France, South Korea, Taiwan, the Netherlanders, or even Peru. The ability to study and travel for an entire year revolutionizes the higher education playing field. The world is only getting smaller, so it is vital to engulf yourself in as much diversity and experience abroad as possible, and the MGB does just that.

 

What are you taking away from this opportunity?  What was the most impactful part of the experience?

I am taking away a much more diverse and profound global mindset. Now I know the ins and outs of how to adapt and utilize culture not only in a professional setting, but in a personal setting too. I have the skill-set to jump into a new culture, country, or corporation and know how to conduct myself confidently. For years the Horatio Alger Association and its generous members have continuously aided in my education and in my personal development.

The most impactful part of the MGB experience was traveling and working with my uniquely diverse cohort. In my cohort of sixty students, there were over twenty different nationalities represented. This was the first time I was on a team where I was the only American represented. This opportunity taught me how to work with a team made up of genuinely different ideals, beliefs, and experiences. Working in a team is a major component in any successful endeavor, now I am certain that I am capable to do so in any given situation.

 

What would you say to other Horatio Alger Scholars to encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity?

This is a once in a life time opportunity; please do not let fear of the unknown push you away. This is an educational adventure that will teach you more in ten months than any standard Master’s program ever will. Not only do you have the opportunity to explore the world, but after this program… you will see the world differently.