Olivia Faydenko BS '17, Study Abroad
Olivia Faydenko BS '17, Study Abroad
Olivia made her travel dreams a reality through the College of Business study abroad program at UCCS. She spent an entire semester at Cologne Business School in Cologne, Germany, where she traveled across Europe, learned about foreign cultures, and made connections with international students from around the world. Olivia documented her travels in a photo blog for UCCS students and encourages all College of Business students to step outside their comfort zone in the pursuit of study abroad opportunities.
Why did you choose UCCS?
I initially chose UCCS for a number of reasons - primarily for the small class sizes, location, and affordability. However, as the years passed, I grew more confident about my decision because of the opportunities that only a smaller university can provide. These opportunities ranged from scholarship/ funding availability, access to faculty, student group impact on the campus and student body, and a connectedness to the surrounding community.
Why did you choose to study marketing?
I didn’t so much ‘choose’ marketing - I more fell into it. I didn’t have a particular career goal when I first enrolled (and it still has yet to be finalized 2 years after graduating), but I knew a business degree could be applied to any industry. I liked the diversity of the business program and that the curriculum included all of the major areas of study (finance, information systems, accounting, business administration, marketing, etc.) When it came time to pick an emphasis, I felt that the marketing program was most aligned with my creative interests and has a broad application.
What influenced your decision to study abroad?
Junior year of high school I went on a school trip to Spain and France, and that was the catalyst for my desire to study abroad. I wanted more. I wanted to understand what it felt like to not only visit a foreign place for a few hours, but to live there and to truly experience another culture. When I learned about the College of Business’ exchange programs, where students pay UCCS tuition, I felt that studying abroad was actually financially feasible.
What was your favorite part of your experience at the Cologne Business School?
The absolute best part of studying at the Cologne Business School was meeting students from around the world. I got to live and learn with students from Germany, Spain, Italy, Taiwan, Russia, Finland, Mexico, South Korea, Hungary, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, and more; there were about 30 different nationalities represented in my class. Learning about the various cultures and customs was remarkable and has certainly shaped my life.
What do you like best about the College of Business?
The best part of the UCCS College of Business is the access to faculty. All classes are taught by the professor, not a grad student, and they all have office hours. The COB faculty has hands-on industry experience in their fields, and many of whom have earned the highest certifications available in their professions. I definitely felt that the UCCS COB was unique in that I could talk directly to my professor about the coursework and their careers.
What are your career aspirations?
I would like to continue working in the construction industry, but I am striving to work more closely with sustainable design and highly efficient buildings. Currently, I am interested in either consulting or some sort of educational component within the industry. A lot of systems and processes in this field have remained largely unchanged for quite some time, and I would like to help educate design teams and contractors on improved ways of making better and healthier buildings.
How is UCCS helping to make those goals a reality?
The degree I earned and the connections I made through UCCS helped me land my current position with a local general contractor. The experience I have gained from my current work is laying a great foundation that I can build my future career upon.
What do you love about Colorado Springs?
Growing up outside of Denver, Colorado Springs was the perfect place to begin exercising my independence. Colorado Springs has the amenities of a big city, but the feel of a small town. I like that there is plenty to do in the area, whether it is spending time outdoors, or hitting up downtown.
What would you tell someone who is considering UCCS for college?
At UCCS, I felt like I was more than just a number in the eyes of the university. It felt like the faculty, my coworkers through my work-study program, my advisor, my classmates, and the rest of campus all genuinely wanted to see me succeed. If I needed help, the resources were there for me. Outside of academics, I really felt as though there was something for everyone to connect with - from Ski & Ride Club, to TheaterWorks, to Greek Life. The gorgeous campus and beautiful views of the front range definitely enhanced my experience too.
What would you tell someone who is considering studying abroad in college?
If you are considering studying abroad, I would absolutely tell you to consider no more - just do it! I have never met a single person who studied abroad and regretted it. There is so much more to the experience than just taking classes. I don’t mean to make this dramatic, but my semester abroad changed my life. I am unable to see the world the same way I did before living in Germany. When I returned stateside, I found I had developed a much larger and empathic view of the world and will carry that with me forever.
Studying Abroad at Cologne Business School
- COURTNEY OPP '19, DANIELS FUND, FINANCE
- JENNIFER CARTER, MBA (2018)
- ZAC EGELER, MSA (2018)
- PAUL GILLIAM '18 INFORMATION SYSTEMS
- LEE HAIDER '20, BACHELOR OF INNOVATION
- ASTRIDE MUKABAGULA '18, TRANSFER
- HOLLY LIND '18, SPORT MANAGEMENT
- JAYDEN BRUUN '18, PGA GOLF MANAGEMENT
- BRIAN SMITH '18, STUDY ABROAD
- EMILY CARLSON '18, SPORT MANAGEMENT
- ANDREA BALLOU '18, PGA GOLF MANAGEMENT