Innovation and Exploration

KeKe Sirjord in Ireland
February 1, 2018

LSBE student KeKe Sirjord fulfilled one of her business degree requirements . . . in Ireland! 

I don't think there was one single thing that I wanted to do that we didn't do.

In May 2017, KeKe Sirjord had the opportunity to go to Ireland with a small group of UMD students and marketing Associate Professor Linda Rochford. “I did one of the short-term programs through LSBE called Innovation in Ireland,” she explains. “What’s nice about the short-term programs is that they are through UMD and they count as a class themselves.” 

But, How To Decide? 

UMD has many options for studying abroad, so KeKe had to decide which program she was going to choose. She recalls, “I started thinking about it during my sophomore year. I always wanted to do some kind of study abroad program, but I didn’t want to commit a whole semester or school-year. Then, I heard about these short-term programs.”

She did some digging. “I looked on the Study Abroad website, and I found that LSBE offers four or five different types of short-term programs. After thinking about what I wanted to get out of my experience and meeting with Dr. Rochford, it was clear that the Innovation in Ireland program was the perfect fit for me.”

Because this short-term study abroad program qualified as a UMD course, there were some class sessions held at UMD before the group left. KeKe describes them: “We had a couple of books that we read about Ireland’s history, and we went through the different aspects of innovation and entrepreneurial orientation. It helped us all understand what we were getting into.”

Besides the preparation for the class, KeKe had to do some personal preparations, too. She says, “Dr. Rochford went over what we should wear, what we should pack, and how we should act in Ireland.”

Even though she was prepared for her travels abroad, KeKe had a mix of emotions before she left for the program. “I was scared about what I didn’t know going over there and about not being used to a different culture.” She goes on, “The unknown was very frightening, but it was also very exciting. I did not know what to expect, so there was a thrill with that. I went into the program with an open mind and took it all in.” Read More