Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
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Jonathan Muth

Major: Finance, Accounting, Spanish
Hometown: Ellicott City, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I received an email about the experience, and although I knew nothing about what I would receive from the Alumni Mentor Program I knew I had nothing to lose by at least attempting to attain a formal mentor.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The experience began with sending an email to my mentor after being accepted into the program. I received a short description of her background, which included her current aspiration to attain an MBA from IE Business School in Barcelona. I had previously looked into receiving my MBA in Spain to differentiate myself from other Americans, so Laura and I quickly let Spain and business take over our conversation. I had the pleasure of speaking with Laura via FaceTime since we were both in Spain at the time of our first call, but throughout talking about our interests, she also gave me numerous points of advice on how I can also attain an international experience like herself, specifically in Madrid, with KPMG, a Big 4 Accounting firm I hope to work for after Penn State.

[My mentor] emphasized how important it was for me to take advantage of Penn State's resources.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Laura emphasized how important it was for me to take advantage of Penn State's resources, such as incredible professors with extensive backgrounds, Spanish classes to improve my knowledge of specific areas of interest, and the large population of international students looking to exchange with American students during their experience. She also connected me with Penn State alumni with international opportunities in order to assist me in learning more about how they attained their goals to work abroad and what I can do at Penn State now to prepare myself.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to one day have the opportunity to work in Europe at KPMG, a Big 4 accounting firm, and I now understand that Madrid would be the best European city for me. The largest barrier preventing me from working in Madrid previously was unsurprisingly the Spanish language, but after speaking with Laura about her experience in Barcelona I have the confidence in my Spanish-speaking ability to be able to apply for the summer internship rotation opportunity in Madrid, as well as the possibility to take a rotation in Spain for two years with KPMG. Therefore, I will be able to combine my technical background in Finance and Accounting with my liberal arts background in Applied Spanish to truly prepare myself to make an impact at KPMG.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely because it is an opportunity the College of the Liberal Arts offers to Penn State students with nothing but benefits to come from the program. I can only speak for myself because I have not met any other students participating in the program, but I was matched with a mentor that was a perfect match for my career aspirations. I will be able to reach out to Laura any time I need help, especially with upcoming tasks such as applying for the KPMG Global Internship Program where Laura will have the most extensive background to help me.

For more information on the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, visit our website.

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