Leann Poirier ’16 draws almost daily on the lessons she learned at Virginia Tech as a double major in French and International Studies in her work at strategic communications firm FGS Global.
But, she says, the skills she learned outside of the classroom — both in Blacksburg and while studying abroad — proved just as useful.
“Having diverse international experiences as an undergraduate student has helped me stay open to different perspectives in my professional and personal life, especially when working with people from different countries who may have different points of view on a matter of foreign policy or when thinking about how to communicate with colleagues and friends based in different geographies who have different cultural customs,” she said.
As an associate director in the Washington office of FGS Global, Poirier helps clients from nonprofits, international corporations, and foreign governments develop communications strategies with the U.S. government, media, and others. stakeholder groups on issues that are important to them.
The 2016 College of Liberal Arts and Humanities graduate will be the keynote speaker at the first Global Symposium Nov. 10 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. The symposium is part of International Education Weeka joint initiative of the United States Departments of State and Education that promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future foreign leaders to study, learn, and exchange experiences.
The series, which runs from November 7-14, is sponsored by Cranwell International Center with generous Cranwell family supportand is organized in partnership with Outreach and international affairs. The Steering Committee includes representatives from the College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and Humanities, College of Natural Resources and Environment, Graduate School, University Libraries, and the Global Education Office.
Organizer Iuliia Hoban, Cranwell’s Deputy Director for Intercultural Learning and Program Director of the Mozaiko Living Learning Community, said the goal is to shine a light on the many global education opportunities at Virginia Tech. Students from more than 100 countries come to study at the university – more than at any other institution in the Commonwealth – and hundreds of other Hokies take part in study abroad programs all over the world.
“Global learning and engagement are central to Virginia Tech’s identity as a global land-grant institution and are essential to advancing Virginia Tech. Across borders vision,” said Don Hempson, associate vice president for international affairs. “As we strive to deliver impactful programming throughout the year, International Education Week gives us an opportunity to appreciate the diverse talents and global aspirations of our Virginia Tech communities.”