Recent Kean University graduate Dinora Rosario Rabines '12 just earned her B.S. in International Management at the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony at the Prudential Center in May. Kean Xchange sat down with Dinora to learn about her Kean experience and to see what she has planned now that she’s got her degree in hand. We have a feeling this honors grad isn’t done excelling yet….
What made you choose Kean?
Kean won me over for many reasons. When I graduated high school, I knew that financially, I could not afford to attend a school with a high tuition. I received a scholarship to community college, so I earned my associates and began to search for universities to transfer to for my bachelors. I attended open houses and met with admissions advisors for my top few choices. However, Kean stood out from all the rest. I received the most help from advisors and staff than any other university; the people I encountered at Kean not only answered my questions, they went beyond and guided me with my career goals as well. I was not just another student rushed out of an office; I felt I had found a school where people cared about me. In the end, the warm personal service, the environment and, yes, its low tuition were the reasons I chose Kean, but it offered and has provided me with so much more than that.
Tell us about your Kean experience.
My Kean experience has been challenging but great. There were always so many activities going on from plays, guest speakers and conferences to games and community events. I wanted to be part of everything, but I didn’t always have the time to do it all, between classes, commuting by train and bus, and going to work. The events that I was able to be part of allowed me to meet many exceptional people. I have met so many students with great dreams, determination and leadership qualities that inspired me throughout my Kean experience. I think that is what I like best about my college experience that I realized there are so many different people but we share the same drive to reach our goals.
What would you say is one of the greatest highlights of your time here?
In the fall 2011 semester I was in an international management class with approximately 20 international students from France. It was the most fun class I have ever been part of. It was the most culturally rich experience of my life, because we had language barriers, strong culture and perspective differences, but we still managed to communicate and learn from each other inside and outside of class, and even friendships were formed.
What led you to study international management?
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be in constant interaction with people from different cultures, speak many languages, and be part of projects that would help others. I grew up seeing my Dad be part of economic projects to improve living conditions in rural areas in Peru, and saw my uncle travel around the world for the World Credit Council of Unions providing financial aid to help growth in third world countries. There were many other experiences in my life but one that really led me to my major was in high school. My sophomore year in high school, I was part of the Rotary Youth Leadership camp that opened my eyes to globalization, negotiations and the importance of networking to create change.
Do you think Kean prepared you for your future?
Kean has definitely prepared me for the future. I think any student at Kean can say that because of our exposure to people from all over the world. We learn to be more tolerant and mindful of others. Kean really is a world-class university; there are so many nationalities and personalities on campus. Whether you peruse a career in nursing, politics, sciences or the arts, you will have to interact with people and Kean prepared me for this dimension of my future.
Is there a lesson you learned at Kean that you believe will serve you well in your future?
The biggest lesson I learned at Kean is that sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to improve and to discover more about yourself. I have always been a friendly, but very shy person. I knew that communication is necessary in every career, but if I wanted to be involved in international business and relations, I had to let go of my shyness and become a better communicator. So I minored in communication. In my first two classes, nervousness always got the best of me in presentations, but the classes that followed not only made me feel more comfortable, but I started to look forward to presenting and to voicing my opinions. I now love and appreciate my communication courses because they brought out a whole different side of me.
You are an honors student... what is the secret of your success?
The secret to my success are those that inspire me. I am inspired by my parents’ hard work, by their faith, dedication and strength. I am inspired by all the people I have met during my life that have provided me with advice and lead by example. I am inspired by all the things that I can achieve now and in the future through my education. My inspirations motivate me as a student and in life.
Do you have a motto that you live by?
I live by many mottos that all connect to each other – always have a goal to strive for as small as it is, be true to myself and others, never giving up, trust in God, always help others because I have been blessed by people who have helped me in many ways all my life, and surround myself with people who inspire me.
What are your post-graduation plans?
After graduation, I plan on gaining some work experience and then my next stop is graduate school. I am not sure what I will specialize in yet, but I’m considering global economics and finance. I also plan to continue to study French so I can be fluent in a third language (I am fluent in English and Spanish already). From then on, work and life experiences will lead to where I am meant to be.
What advice would you give students pursuing a career in your field?
I'd suggest students majoring in international business keep abreast of current world events and the changing economy of the world. I think it’s important to make it a habit to follow national and world news and to have open discussions to get other people’s outlooks. International business requires an open-mind, effective communication, tolerance and mindfulness of other cultures and opinions. I encourage students to go in to class with the mindset that everything learned will contribute to their careers.