Jennifer L. Phillips ’97

Major in International Business Administration

Photo Credit: Meredith Andrews

Jennifer Phillips is an entrepreneur in the arts and culture field, who was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Bermuda Tourism Authority.  

What persuaded you to join us in Paris? 

The University provided a fantastic and unique opportunity to acquire a US-based education against the backdrop of arguably the most beautiful city in the world. I was initially attracted by the location, with the Eiffel Tower within walking distance of our classrooms, and easy travel for access to cultural opportunities in neighboring European countries. But I was also attracted by the range of course options and the cultural diversity of the student body.  

Any enduring memories from your time at AUP? 

I was impressed by what was, at the time, AUP’s motto: Knowledge, Perspective, Understanding. I found the motto to complement that of my high school in Bermuda: respice finem, or “keep the end in view.” I measured my experiences at AUP through the three prisms of its motto. I found that my professors never strayed from this ideal; they were studied and professional, with the ability to make education current and relevant. 

Any tips for current students on making the most of university? 

Making life-long friends will always be the most valuable outcome of my time at AUP. My fellow alumni reach across the globe – from South America to Sweden and from California to Qatar. As you navigate life, you will find that connections and relationships, both professional and personal, are key – AUP is a great place to make these connections. 

How has your time at AUP impacted your career? 

My educational experience at AUP, which included a semester at George Washington University in Washington DC, equipped me to do much more than sit behind a desk; it formed in me the strong ambition and desire to make a difference in my community. I can also attribute my current entrepreneurial leaning to my time at AUP. All this has culminated in my recent appointment to the Board of Directors of the Bermuda Tourism Authority – promoting business and leisure tourism as one of the two significant pillars of Bermuda’s economy. My career has also included a significant stint as a retail buyer and manager for an international clothing brand. 

What advice would you offer AUP students entering your field? 

I studied international business administration, in large measure because of its relevance and applicability to Bermuda’s robust reinsurance industry: the other major pillar of its economy. It was also due to the fact IBA is a broad discipline that can be foundational for many different industries. I would urge students to take advantage of as many electives as possible outside their chosen area of study – mine varied from business law to journalism – which will help immensely with identifying, developing and appreciating critical new areas of interest. 

In your opinion, what is the most important global challenge of today? 

The extent to which globalization brings easy and immediate access to information is unprecedented and phenomenal. It is strikingly challenging to appreciate how from one day to the next a “flu” can become a pandemic, or how the invasion of Ukraine can arrest the supply of oil and food and throw the globe into a tailspin. However, against the backdrop of this new paradigm, there is also cause for tremendous optimism – as educational institutions such as AUP provide research and opportunities that, when applied, will equip social and economic communities to address these challenges effectively.