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February 23, 2023

Business development for international donor organizations

Washington, DC

Briefly introduce yourself and describe your educational and professional background prior to enrolling the GBA program.
My name is Sinead Gangler, and I received my business and French undergraduate degree from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. While at Trinity, I also spent a year at the École Supérieure de Commerce et Management (ESCEM) in Tours, France. After graduating from Trinity, I worked around the world in various industries as I searched for my professional passion. I eventually found that passion in international development! I currently work for a large consulting firm’s international development group, where I support business development for international donor organizations.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?
I had always respected Fletcher as a top institution. After a formative business trip to Bangkok in early 2020, I was inspired to take my career to the next level. I checked out the Fletcher website, where I noticed the GBA program. I immediately felt like it was made for me, as it covered a variety of fascinating, real-world subjects; was designed for professionals who preferred to remain in the workforce; and was globally focused.

What is one course that you have taken thus far in the GBA program that has been instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals?
This is a tough question because I have channeled what I have learned from all my classes into my current profession. I would say most recently, I have been taking key concepts from International Strategy and Innovation to help formulate strategy for my company’s international development segment. Simply asking “where to play?” and “what’s our competitive advantage?” helps to break down a complex web of how to move forward amidst limited resources. I would also add that this course not only taught me many tools and frameworks, but it also instilled in me a great sense of confidence with its “in the boardroom” style. Thanks to Strategy, I am a “bigger part of the conversation” at work, something I’m really excited about, especially as a female professional.

What course was your favorite course thus far and why?
Now, this is a tough question. I would lean toward Corporate Finance simply because it was transformational for me. Before the course, I had branded myself “not a numbers person” and did not even attempt to understand the finance world. After some hard work and brilliant teaching by Professors Schena and Jacque, I feel proficient in finance and accounting. As a subject that is also relevant to almost any other technical area, Corporate Finance has added so much value to my other courses. I also credit the course with my newfound enjoyment of reading The Financial Times, and of finally being “a numbers person”!

Can you recall a class discussion that really changed your mind on a topic?
Prior to taking Global Marketing with Professor Simonin, I was somewhat skeptical of the concept of marketing. That changed with this course. One day Professor Simonin challenged us to consider “marketing as an investment, rather than a cost.” Combined with our case study analyses, which took us around the world and into different organizations such as L’Oreal in India and Jazz at Lincoln Center, this course was eye-opening and, frankly, inspirational.

Tell us about a classroom experience that was particularly enriching for you personally and caused you to reflect on your currently held views, beliefs, or values.
In Global Marketing, we had a role-play project where my group and I represented a specific social media platform that promoted advertising toward children. We “debated” with another group who represented a children’s advocacy organization. This project was eye-opening for me in that I learned how ad-focused social media networks target children from a young age, and this is because ad revenue is often their only revenue stream. Truth be told, it has made me question my participation in many social media platforms which I have been using for over a decade now.

You must start each day (for the rest of your life!) listening to the same song. Which song do you choose and why?
“The Hills of Donegal,” by The Goats Don’t Shave. It reminds me of Ireland!

If you’re stranded on a desert island with only one book to read, what book would it be and why?
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah. I love WWII fiction!

Sum up your overall GBA experience in two to three sentences.
My GBA experience has been transformational. Learning so many new subjects and cultures while being able to dive deep into each one, to ultimately speak confidently about different topics, and to overall be a bigger part of many conversations, I am so happy I chose to embark on my GBA journey and am excited for what the future holds.

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