Holly Littlefield

The Carlson Global Institute (CGI) depends on key partnerships committed faculty, alumni willing to give back, and corporate friends—to support the international experience for students. And often, the experience has far reaching effects on them as well.

Patience, Flexibility, and Adventure

Senior Lecturer Holly Littlefield was part of the undergraduate curriculum committee that originally recommended the Carlson School add an international requirement for its students.

“When I was an undergrad, I studied in Scotland for a year—it was one of the best experiences of my life and ever since I have been a strong advocate for study abroad experiences,” she says. “I had been hoping to be able to teach one of the international courses.”

Littlefield got her wish—she has taught Business Communication in Spain for three years and Business Communication in India for two. “It has made me more conscious of trying to bring international elements into all my teaching, not just into the specific international courses,” she says, describing the experience.

When she teaches presentation styles to students in the regular sections of business communication, she talks about how preferred communication styles and presentation organization differ from culture to culture. Expectations regarding body language, eye contact, persuasive styles, and other communication elements all vary depending on the audience’s cultural background. “My international teaching has made me even more aware of the importance of bringing cultural understanding into all my classes,” she says.

 

You can read more about Carlson School international experiences in the latest Carlson School Alumni Magazine, where this feature was originally featured.