Tove Samuelsson ’14

Self-Designed Major

I’ve always loved Paris, but that wasn’t why I chose AUP. I’m a Swedish citizen and by the time I started applying to universities, I’d already lived in a multitude of places, including Kuala Lumpur, Australia, and Sweden, and could speak or understand Swedish, English, Danish, and Norwegian. When I first visited AUP, I was struck by how so many other students had also spent their lives traveling from one far-flung locale to another. For once, I wasn’t the only globetrotter in the room, and it felt like coming home.  

Once enrolled, I appreciated the balance AUP struck between structure and flexibility. While students were free to explore their passions, they had multiple sources of guidance. As a first-year student, I was interested in the International Economics and International Business majors, but neither fully corresponded to what I wanted. After many discussions with my mentor, Professor Geoff Gilbert, as well as Professors Robert Earhart and Ali Rahnema, I created my own major, International Marketing and Management. While able to indulge in the fantastic course offerings, I was also encouraged to look beyond AUP’s borders. I chose to participate in the Semester at Sea program, which allowed me to travel to 13 countries, meet Nobel Prize winners and world leaders, and gain invaluable experience through in-country service projects.  

I got to take advantage of small classes, highly dedicated professors, and an international student body, all of which would have been hard to find elsewhere.

Tove Samuelsson ’14

I admired how AUP had deep roots in the city and culture of Paris, while also fostering an intensely international classroom experience. My cultural education revolved around living within the unfamiliar French culture, while sharing classrooms with students from a huge array of nationalities, cultures, and countries. I gained priceless insights into how different peoples look upon any number of global issues and questions.  

I believe that for most of us, our time at university is when we start to grow up and become the sort of adult we want to be. Looking back, I feel lucky to have spent these crucial years at AUP and in Paris. Not only did I gain critical thinking and communication skills, which have proven vital to my career, but I also got to take advantage of small classes, highly dedicated professors, and an international student body, all of which would have been hard to find elsewhere. I also discovered a second home in Paris, which has an extraordinary capacity for teaching people how to enjoy life, be it with its food or its eternal celebration of beauty, in all the forms it takes.   

After a stint working as a marketing consultant for a startup, I became an account strategist at Google. Here, I provided strategic and consultative advertising solutions for businesses, while helping our Nordic team improve customer interaction and working as a Swedish representative with our Nordic advertisers. I left Google to do volunteer work with refugees and now live in Stockholm, where I manage Coca Cola’s national and key accounts with Swedish wholesalers and oversee all sales across the Norwegian-Swedish border. Remember that life is a journey of constant self-development: you should always just go for it.