Reflecting on Study Abroad: Cristina Rue

Cristina Rue
Cristina Rue

By Megan Schulte, student study abroad ambassador

The next feature in the series of successful 18 of the Last 9 Alumni who studied abroad is Cristina Rue, a director for SKDKnickerbocker, where she advises corporate and non-profit clients across the United States and Latin America. Originally from Venezuela, Rue came to the United States during her senior year of high school. Because of her international background, Rue initially didn’t plan on studying abroad. But during her junior year at Miami, she discovered the number of wonderful programs the university offered and the true importance of studying abroad. During her time at Miami, Rue first participated in both a summer program in Russia and also Inside Washington, a semester-long program in Washington DC.

Gaining professional experience

Rue credits her time with the Inside Washington program as just the beginning of her professional experiences and says it really set up her career. “On my first day, I was asked to write a press release and I had never taken a communications class. But I needed to just figure it out by using Google and pretend like I knew what I was doing. It was a great introduction into the professional world. I found people to work with who cared about international politics just as I did,” Rue said. Since then, Rue has been actively involved in international politics, advising a number of political campaigns in Venezuela, Argentina, and Ecuador. She has had the opportunity to influence the local communities and make large strides with the political campaigns she's supported.

When asked how study abroad has affected her as an alum, Rue said, “I think if I hadn’t had the opportunity to discover other cultures and meet people who are different from me, it would have made my job today a lot more complicated. I don’t think I would have been as successful from the beginning. My bosses were confident that I would be able to travel on my own based on my study abroad background.”

Learning outside the classroom

Study abroad gave Rue the opportunity to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. “I had learned all about Russia through books and lectures but just getting to know the people and getting to see the places was a great complement to my education. In DC, I had learned about politics in class but just being able to participate in the internship and actually getting to do the work and being forced to network in the real world where people didn’t go to Miami was extremely helpful,” Rue said.

Impact of study abroad

Study abroad, “just opened my mind to what else is out there. When I was younger, I thought I knew the world because I was from Venezuela and moved to the US. But study abroad really opened my eyes to how little I actually knew and how many different people and cultures there are around the world. I think it just completely changed the way I looked at everything and made me feel like I am just a tiny piece of this world and there is so much more to explore. And I think that’s why I really tried seeking a career where I continue getting the opportunity to travel and see other places,” Rue explained.

Final thoughts

Rue’s parting thoughts on study abroad were this: “I am fortunate enough that I found a career where I can travel abroad, but it’s not often and I do a lot of other things, so just take advantage of that opportunity because it doesn’t come often after graduation.”

She also stressed the importance of having study abroad experience. “There are so many people applying to jobs who can probably do the same thing you can do. So find something that makes you different, like study abroad. My study abroad experience in Russia isn’t something that I use everyday but it’s a conversation starter. People remember me from it,” Rue said.

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