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Alumnus Michael Smith

Meet Michael Smith, a 2000 graduate of the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State. As a member of the Honors Business Cohort, he enrolled in an import/export class where he communicated with students at a sister university in Johannesburg, South Africa, using video chat technology. Michael marks this experience as the first time he began to appreciate the ability to connect around the globe.

In 2006, Michael began working for a private company called WorldStrides in Charlottesville, Virginia, that helped facilitate eighth grade class trips to Washington, D.C., as well as international travel and study at the university and post-graduate level. They view the world as a "global classroom," and by the end of 2013, they will have helped more than 280,000 students with their educational travel programs. He now manages a division that sends approximately 8,000 undergraduate and graduate business students to more than 70 countries annually.

Michael says, "I am passionate about connecting students with international travel opportunities because it allows them to gain hands-on understanding of what it means to be a global citizen." This is important, he says, because students entering the workforce today will be working with team members not just from across the United States, but from all parts of the world.

Michael's passion for travel and worldly connection has fueled him to visit over twenty countries and has led him to generously support the Ohio State Fund for Global Initiatives, a fund to assist Ohio State students to study and intern abroad. Michael believes "students with international experience are absolutely more competitive in today's job market because they have this cross-cultural understanding."

Learn more about how to support international experiences at Ohio State. If you would like to join Michael in support of Global Initiatives, please contact Elise Burgess.