ICM Alumni Highlight

ICM Alumni from around the world reflect on their studies and present their journey after completing the degree.

Julia Theilen

0-2Dear students, alumni and professors of International Communication at St. John’s,

I graduated with my M.S. in International Communication in May 2018 and could not be more grateful for the experience of studying under Prof. Monteiro’s guidance. Moving from Germany to New York City to study as a Fulbright scholar at St. John’s has taught me the value of community and diversity.

Next, my journey led me back to my roots in Germany, where I started a Functional Trainee Program in the Corporate Communication department at Adidas, a German long-standing company that is by now a global brand. During my 18-months journey in this program, I worked in five different teams: Brand PR for the central European market, Digital and Content Creation, communication for Adidas’ Digital organization in the Accounts team, and the global Media Relations team. My personal highlight though was a short-term assignment in China, working in the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarter in Shanghai for three months to support the market Communications team.

This comprehensive and rich learning experience led me to begin my permanent and current position back with the global Communications Accounts team. I am now supporting and consulting the Tech and Digital functions at Adidas in strategically communicating relevant content towards mostly internal but also external audiences. This includes, for example, keeping all 60,000 employees globally engaged with Adidas’ digital transformation journey and enabling internal leaders to communicate transparently and inspire their teams.

Every day, I benefit from my international experience of studying at St. John’s – and I’m proud to continue to work in a very international, diverse environment, as I believe this is where one truly grows and broadens their own horizon.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves in these challenging times!

Afua Twumasi-Ankhra

IMG_1545I am a Business Operations Manager at a Biotech company in the Greater Boston Area. In this role, I support the company’s Global Government Affairs and Public Policy department with budget planning, tracking, and management. I manage goals and KPI tracking within the global team, reporting out to cross-functional cohorts to ensure strategic imperatives are well aligned and ladder up towards broader corporate objects. I oversee political compliance activities as it relates to lobbying reports (federal and state) and PAC reporting. I leverage my passion for observing and efficiency by creating solutions where needed and or setting up the infrastructure to optimize how we work as a team.

Before I entered this role, I served as the Certification and Government Relations Manager at an election technology start-up, where I led cross-functional departments across the company through complex processes to attain Federal and state approval for the use of the start up’s modern voting system suite. I represented the start-up’s values and views with industry partners and government partners, including the Election Infrastructure Sector-Specific Agency and Secretary of state offices nationwide.

While I was in the International Communication program at St. John’s University, I served as a Graduate Intern at the Council on Foreign Relations and the United Nations. At the Council, I supported the Communications division, and I worked with the Civil Society Unit within the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations. At both agencies, I helped with efforts around global policy initiatives, marketing of institutional ideas, connecting thinkers and scholars to appropriate channels.

At first glance, it is difficult for others to connect the dots and find a common thread through all of these seemingly unique and unrelated experiences. Other’s difficulty in accepting my career path as a sound one has often made me very insecure. I measured and justified failures against this notion in challenging times. However, I am growing to take control of this narrative and allow myself to keep crafting my career path without boundaries and beyond the confines of the status quo.

My family and I migrated to the United States together when I was entering middle school after winning the American Lottery. The matchless opportunities and experiences this once in a lifetime occurrence has afforded my family and I is what drives my passion for wanting to work toward a world where everyone is able to realize their full potential, should they want it. I believe this can be achieved in a world where peace and justful institutions rule, through quality education, and with radical health systems. These three tenets are what drive how I look for work and where I choose to work.

Alexa Chanelle

thumbnail_IMG_3700I graduated from the International Communication program in 2016 with the intentions of becoming the Communications Director for a political figure or a non-profit organization. The program cemented my desire to advocate and create change for my community. Then the reality of job hunting struck me. I was disappointed that I did not find a job in my desired field but I was not discouraged. I decided to apply to The New York City Teaching Fellows program and in May of 2019 I graduated from Long Island University with a Masters in Education. Now, I am in my third year of teaching high school students Global and US History. I love the fact that I am able to utilize what I learned from the International Communications program to teach students about how the world and their communities are all connected. My current goal is to deepen my practice by teaching and studying internationally. It’s always interesting to reflect and see how all of the decisions I made, places I have been to and people I have met have prepared me for today.

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