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Megan Riley ′13

Columbus, OH
Commerce and Business major
German/Economics double minor

By Scarlett D’Anna ’12

A self-professed “numbers nerd,” Megan Riley discovered a new facet to her mathematic interests in Economics 100 with Professor Art Carden. It was Carden’s class that inspired her to declare a major in Commerce and Business and a minor in Economics. She says her advisor and Intermediate Accounting instructor, Professor Pamela Church, “has been extremely influential in helping me decide on accounting as my focus within the major. She relates the material to current financial situations and displays the importance of accountants in today′s volatile economy.” An aspiring accountant herself, Megan plans to pursue a career in Europe after she graduates.

Megan had previously been a German major and continues to minor in the language, which dovetails naturally with her decision to go into international business. She has a long-standing love of travel and foreign languages. A Columbus, Ohio, native, Megan recalls the sense of wonder she felt as she first encountered the history and culture of Chateau D’Oeux, Switzerland. “I wanted to see as much as I could, and the best way to do that was to talk to people in their own language. That’s how I became really passionate about language: through travel.” Studying advanced French in Chateau D’Oeux as a high school student was a transformative experience for Megan, and it set her educational and career plans in motion. “All my friends joke that English is my second language,” she admits. It isn’t hard to see why her multilingual pursuits inspire a little awe: she has continued with French since her summer in Switzerland and studied German, Spanish, and Russian as well.

Coming to Rhodes provided Megan with many opportunities to further develop her language skills. She served as a German peer tutor throughout her freshman and sophomore years, and, as a Teacher’s Assistant for German 202, she taught a weekly class on culture and conversation. Last summer she participated in a research fellowship through the German Department, analyzing vocabulary acquisition techniques. Now a Rhodes Student Associate in the Language Learning Center, she works with professors to implement the best language-learning strategies and technologies for their classes.

Rhodes also opened the door for Megan to explore new areas of interest. Her initial experience with Elementary Russian, a class she had not even intended to take, was surprisingly positive. “I brought a drop form the first day,” she says, “and then I just threw it away because I loved the class so much.”

Summer 2012 promises to bring Megan’s major and minor studies together. She plans to participate in the upcoming Belgium Maymester, directed by Professor John Planchon, where she will study International Branding and Religious History of the Low Countries in Belgium and France. Once the Maymester concludes, she will travel to Germany for an Accounting internship in Berlin.

Though only a junior, Megan has already sketched out her postgraduate life. She wants to pursue a Masters of Science in Accounting, possibly through Rhodes’s own fifth-year program. From there she hopes that her work in business and languages will converge in an accounting position overseas.

Tags: Commerce and Business, Economics, Modern Languages and Literature, Archive, Ohio

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