Rasha Bader (IIPES 00) graduated with honors from the University of Jordan in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. After graduation, she worked as a junior consultant for the Jordan-U.S. Business Partnership Internship Program and as a senior system and process officer at FASTLINK.
Bader was selected to represent Jordan as a Fulbright Scholar, and she completed her master’s degree in business at the prestigious Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University in 2004. During graduate school, she served as the co-president of the Women’s Business Association, as a board member of the Global Business Club and as a member of the Admissions Advisory Committee.
Bader is now working as a program officer in Jordan for the Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC). She has the responsibility of assessing the needs of the Jordan market and coordinating volunteers to provide technical assistance.
Bader credits much of her academic and professional success to the unique experiences that she had at IIPES in. In her words:
“One of the questions I had to answer in my MBA application was: describe a meaningful intercultural experience and how it affected you. Of course, I found nothing better than the IIPES experience. That led me through the door to Vanderbilt University and continues to feed my resume, cover letters and influence my level of activity on campus. Today, I serve on the Global Business Club at school, focusing on increasing awareness about and interaction among different cultures.
“IIPES was much more than an academic experience – it was one that opened my eyes to the world. Today, I feel more capable of establishing friendships with people who do not share my background and culture, who do not speak my language and may have never heard of my country. In Greece, we spent nights and nights discussing the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Turkish-Greek issue and the crises in the Balkans. We didn’t solve any of those conflicts, but that experience helps me today listen to the other point of view…not necessarily accept it and believe in it, but at least understand why ‘the other’ has a different view of the issue. It makes discussions much more fruitful.
“Friendships were also the fruits of IIPES. Every now and then, my mailbox contains a message about someone doing a PhD degree or getting married or visiting another IIPESer in a country that would have otherwise been out of the question, or…A few days ago, a friend I made in Greece calls to say hi and that he is a couple of hours away from here…With IIPES, the world has become a ‘smaller’ village.”