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Garrett Flint, Class of 2014

Learning Abroad Program: University of Grenoble Alpes Exchange

U Background: BS in Economics, 2014

Graduate School:  MBA, University of Geneva, Switzerland, 2016

Current Position: Global Operations Support for Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) with International Organization for Migration

My Story

In the Fall semester of 2013, I was starting my senior year at the University of Utah, preparing to graduate with my Bachelors in Economics. I was becoming increasingly interested in a career in international development and knew that if I could improve my language skills and increase my international experience, it would better set me up for my future career. As I saw French proficiency as an important asset in this line of work, I decided to sign up for the learning abroad program in Grenoble, France. Although it was my last year of school, everyone on the Learning Abroad team was very supportive and helped make it possible to complete my semester abroad.

Garrett in Djibouti

Besides making life-long friends and solidifying my French during my semester abroad, I gained an appreciation for and a hunger to better understand other cultures. I was hooked. From Grenoble, I took an internship with a non-profit in Botswana, which turned into my first post-graduation job. After about a year and a half in Botswana, I decided to return to school to complete a Master’s degree. Following my learning abroad experience, I was open to possibilities in Europe, and was accepted to do a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where I specialized in management in non-profit organizations.

During my studies, I was able to do internships in local organizations in Switzerland, which often required French-speakers. Upon completing my studies, I was hired at the United Nations in Geneva, where I work for the UN Migration Agency, The International Organization for Migration. I work on a team that gathers data on human migration flows from all over the world, especially forced migration due to natural disasters or conflicts. For example, whenever you see figures and numbers about however many migrants arrived in Europe across the Mediterranean, that’s my work that gathers that information! I recently returned from a 4-month work mission to Djibouti, where I organized all data-collection activities in the country. This had to all be performed in French, one of the national languages of the country. The data we gathered was able to shed light in the international community on mass migration flows of Ethiopians through Djibouti and into the Arabian Peninsula. This data reinforced the need for funding for projects to address many humanitarian crises in Ethiopia. Most of the work I do now would not have been possible had I not taken the time to invest in my language skills and decided to increase my international experience by completing a semester abroad. Besides making life-long friends and solidifying my French during my semester abroad, I gained an appreciation for and a hunger to better understand other cultures. I was hooked. From Grenoble, I took an internship with a non-profit in Botswana, which turned into my first post-graduation job. After about a year and a half in Botswana, I decided to return to school to complete a Master’s degree. Following my learning abroad experience, I was open to possibilities in Europe, and was accepted to do a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where I specialized in management in non-profit organizations.

Note: Above photo is of Garrett on a field assignment in Djibouti, where he trained a team of data collectors to better track migration flows and routes throughout the country. 

Last Updated: 5/8/20