Finance and Spanish majors
From central Iowa to central Spain, Tierney’s Tippie experience has been one of self-discovery and broadened horizons. While her interest in global cultures was sparked with a high school trip to Uganda, her passion for cultural immersion developed through her Tippie Global Internship in Madrid in the summer of 2013.
Choosing the University of Iowa for the strong reputation of the Tippie College of Business and the “Hawkeye atmosphere,” Tierney initially intended to minor in Spanish to bolster her Finance major. In 2013, she decided to step out of her comfort zone and put her Spanish to the test through a Tippie Global Internship in Madrid. The Global Internship program, administered through Tippie’s Undergraduate Program Office, matches students with internships opportunities in London, Paris, Hong Kong, or Madrid. For one summer, students are steeped in their host country’s culture, while getting firsthand knowledge of the global marketplace.
For Tierney, the experience was transformational in a number of ways. Spanish became a more important part of her life: “I switched to a double major [Finance and Spanish] since coming back and realizing how much I love the language and learning languages.” She also cultivated a passion for global cultures, enthusiastically explaining that “I am eager to travel and learn about different cultures now. I am definitely more flexible and appreciative of cultural differences.” Perhaps most significantly, her broadened horizons have impacted her experience back in Iowa City. “I've realized there is much more diversity in Tippie than I realized and hope to share my enthusiasm of diversity/traveling with others.”
Back at Tippie, Tierney now serves as the Student Ambassador for the Madrid program, serving as a peer advisor to other students who are considering the internship program in Spain. In this role, she is able to share her favorite memories (watching the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona) and explain the greatest influences on her experience (the relationships with the welcoming people with whom she worked and lived).
Tierney is also a founding member of the Global Engagement Student Advisory Board at Tippie, where she can share her passion for cross-cultural experiences through events and programming that bring Tippie’s international and American students together.
As for her future, Tierney is definitely looking abroad. She explains, “My global experience has definitely gotten me thinking about working abroad after graduation. I know that what I have learned in working in another culture and language will help distinguish me among other applicants when applying for jobs. “
With a little hindsight and a great deal of enthusiasm, Tierney has advice for students considering study abroad: “I 100% believe that every student should try and do some sort of travel during their time at Tippie. There are things that you cannot learn in a classroom in Iowa City that you experience as a result of being forced into unfamiliar situations while abroad. I would also encourage Tippie students to embrace the diversity that we have on campus. There is much to be learned from the many cultures that call Tippie home.”