Kevin Kohn, a 2000 Kennedy Center graduate, landed a job with Quantum, a hard drive company in the San Francisco Bay area. Of Kohn’s good fortune, he remarked, “Although this is the technology world, I got the job through a combination of my experience with Model United Nations, international studies degree, international experience, and a little luck or blessing. I am currently working on publishing documentation for various products my division of the company manufactures for an Intranet web site designed to assist training new hires.”
He feels there was a direct connection between his international degree and experience and being hired at Quantum. “The work environment is primarily international in its employee base, with representation from all corners of the globe. I have been asked many times what I will do with an international studies degree. Through networking with people in the course of my studies, experience with various cultures, and diverse types of work and volunteer experience, I stood out among the candidates for the job as one who held a unique perspective and background. I also acknowledge openly that this job was and is a great and marvelous blessing,” he admitted.
Kohn’s background has already paid off in his new work environment as well. “Learning about different cultures in school and abroad enhanced my ability to relate to and cooperate with engineers from various countries. They are intrigued about my interest in them. This enables me to have a great deal of success in carrying out my job of tying the different projects, and their teams, together. They are also extremely interested in the international characteristics of BYU and the Church respectively,” said Kohn.
His career path will also open doors to further learning. “I have the opportunity now to enroll in a master’s program at Stanford University. This benefit is in addition to a generous salary,” Kohn added.
He is also quick to remember others for helping him along the way. “I appreciate the advice from professors and friends over the years. The opportunity to work with the faculty of the center, namely Professors Jeff Ringer and Cory Leonard, provided me with the real world insight into countries and their peoples in the work environment. My education through the center has enabled me to successfully bridge the ‘cultural gap’ faced by many in our modern economy and society. One of my most influential teachers, Paul Kerry, professor of history, instilled in me the vital skill of critically listening to and resolving difficult issues encountered when differing cultures are brought together into one forum,” Kohn summarized.