College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Study Abroad Leads to Education and Career Overseas

Rob Scheid (Class of 2004, BA-International Management, Minor-German) is a Butler Alumnus who is currently pursuing his Master's degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Philipps University of Marburg.

At Butler, Rob often struggled with the German language, as many foreign language students do. Feeling he needed to immerse himself in the language and culture, he spent the spring semester of his junior year in Marburg, Germany working towards his German minor, improving his language skills, and experiencing what would become a life changing semester abroad. His stay provided him with the cultural experiences and friendships that took him one step further than many foreign language students.

Upon graduation, he decided to return to Marburg to continue his studies of the German language. He spent one year visiting language courses provided by the university to bring his German up to a level that would allow him to pursue a Master's degree completely immersed with other German students. In the meantime, he found a part-time job working for a local publishing house with international ties. Here, he put his business education as well as his cultural and language understanding to good use. Working as a sales representative and accounts manager for Beam-Verlag, his responsibilities included selling advertising for a pan-European trade publication and acting as a liaison between English-speaking customers all over Europe and the German-speaking office in Marburg. Rob continues to work for Beam-Verlag to this day and has increased revenues for his primary publication, RF & Wireless Europe, while improving intercultural communications and recruiting new clients from the U.S.A., among other countries.

After this first fruitful year, Rob passed the German language exam for international students (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang) and enrolled in the Master's program for Peace and Conflict Studies (Friedens- und Konfliktforschung) in Marburg. The program is conducted in both German and English, giving it a multidisciplinary, international flair. The small group of Master students (about 30 per year) provides an atmosphere that in many ways reflects the small-class atmosphere of Butler.

During this time, Rob has studied transatlantic relations, peacebuilding, and post-war justice systems, to name a few topics. One class included an excursion to Sarajevo, Bosnia to meet with many international organizations involved in the post-war peacebuilding process. Additionally, he has continued to pursue his language interests and learned to speak Italian and basic Spanish. He completed an internship in Padua, Italy at a small company in the fall of 2006, where he branched out yet again to expand upon his ever-broadening cultural experiences.

In addition to his studies and work, Rob has also worked as an Orientation Guide for incoming international students at the university. Here he has been able to pass along the useful information he has learned to the next generation of international students, while working with students from every corner of the world.

In the spring of 2007, Rob completed an internship with the United Nations Development Programme in Geneva, Switzerland. Working in Communications, his work included planning global conferences on issues as wide-ranging as Business for Development, Commodities, AIDS/HIV, and Media Training. The conferences have taken place in France, Brazil Kenya, Niger and South Africa. He additional has helped draft press releases and other press material for the UNDP.

Rob will write his thesis on Italian War Crimes Trials in Italy after World War II and the lessons learned for international transitional justice. His research will be conducted in German, Italian, and English and he expects to graduate in September 2007.

Rob has recently lined up a job at the organization Atlantik-Brücke e.V. based in Berlin. It is one of the leading German-U.S. transatlantic organizations working to improve relations between the two countries in the fields of politics, economics, and beyond. He will begin upon completion of his Master's program in September 2007.

Without his Butler preparation, none of this would have been possible. His experiences with the Department of Modern Languages at Butler and the opportunities made available by the study abroad program planted the seeds that have since grown into a global perspective. The world has literally opened up to him.

If you are thinking about pursuing your education/career in Germany, feel free to contact Rob at scheid.rob@gmail.com and ask him about his experience.