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Alumni Profile: Students Blaze Their Own Paths with Self-Designed Majors
02.08.13 |
It’s not unusual for a student’s interests and ambitions to expand outside departmental boundaries. Many LVC students adapt to this natural occurrence by picking up second majors, or a minor or two. Others, such as 2009 graduate Dustin Kerns, chose to work closely with faculty advisors to develop a major of their own. Thinking carefully about their interests and career plans, especially in collaboration with professors in their fields, can yield exceptionally fruitful results.

Dustin Kerns ’09: International Business

Dustin Kerns is a recent graduate who took the development of a self-designed major to the extreme. “My time studying abroad in Spain during the summer following my sophomore year really ignited my passion for living abroad and developing my understanding of the world,” wrote Kerns by email from Seoul, South Korea, where he recently completed a stint teaching English and studying Korean. “From that time, I knew my future would require linguistic diversity, international understanding, and business acumen, and the international business major encompassed all these points. The educational diversity definitely encouraged a global curiosity and has allowed me to plan for the future with fewer education-based limitations.”

Kerns designed his major with the help of Dr. David Rudd, Eugene C. Fish Distinguished Chair of Business and professor and chair of business and economics, and Dr. Diane E. Johnson, chair of history and political science and associate professor of political science. In the end, Kerns enrolled in all of the courses required for a business administration major, adding in a series of political science classes and a minor in Spanish. He also carried a second major in accounting and a second minor in political science. With his heavy courseload, Kerns was also a four-year letterwinner with the men's basketball team.

After graduation, Kerns worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for two years before traveling to Seoul, where he worked for 18 months. In January, he accepted another position with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Melbourne, Australia, and plans to do some volunteer work in India, as well as visit South America before returning to graduate school in the fall for a master’s degree in international relations.

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