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Tuesday, August 18, 2020
11:00 am - 11:45 am MDT

Several MRU alumni have participated in outbound exchanges in which they spend a semester or two immersed in another culture. Alumni who have done semesters abroad in Spain, France, Mexico and Austria will share their stories and photos in this webinar.


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Meet the Host

Julie Macdonald

Before moving into her current role of Manager, Digital Marketing at Connect First Credit Union (better known as First Calgary Financial), she learned the importance of staying connected with her alma mater as part of MRU's Alumni Relations team. And staying in touch makes sense -- MRU has given her so much, including friends, a professional network, her partner and, of course, the memories of six months living in Vienna, Austria as part of her semester abroad. Oh, and also a degree (Bachelor of Communications -- Public Relations, 2013).  


Meet the Presenters

Gabrielle Dickson

Gabrielle Dickson is a designer who combines understanding of systems and peoples experiences to create dynamic human-centred solutions to a variety of problems.  

Entering university with an adventurous spirit, Gabrielle was intent on learning and exploring both on campus and around the world. This led Gabrielle to spend the Winter 2017 semester studying at FH Joanneum University in Graz, Austria. Inspired by the vibrant exchange student community she was a part of there, Gabrielle was motivated to promote study abroad when she returned to Calgary. For the next year she worked with the MRU Office of International Education to encourage outbound study abroad and create great experiences for inbound exchange students. To finish her degree, Gabrielle completed a second exchange in the Fall 2018 semester at L’École de Design Nantes Atlantique in Nantes, France. In 2019, Gabrielle graduated from Mount Royal University with a Bachelor of Communication - Information Design.

Since graduating, Gabrielle has stayed connected to the international student community in Calgary both through volunteering with the MRU Office of International Education and by creating an independent series of meet ups to connect exchange students from all post-secondary institutions in Calgary.

Currently, Gabrielle works at J5 Design + Innovation where she helps a diverse group of organizations to think about their work in new ways, apply human-centred design to understand their users, and create innovative solutions.


Demi Erinle

Demi Erinle was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She holds a business administration degree with a minor in Accounting and International Business from Mount Royal University. During her program, she spent the Fall 2018 semester abroad at the IPAG Business School in France. In the summer of 2018, she worked as an intern in the U.S. Consulate of Calgary. Right now, Demi is working on launching a tea company called AWARITEA with a vision to celebrate global cultures through tea.



Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez is OPIS senior editor for Mexico's fuel markets. He has covered the country’s historic energy reform since 2016. Daniel has reported on various landmarks such as upstream auction rounds and the liberalization of fuel markets. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, he graduated in 2017 from the journalism undergraduate program at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada, with a minor in economics and finance. He did a semester abroad with the University of Guadalajara in Mexico during the Fall of 2016, and he participated in the Journalism Energy Initiative Seminar with Columbia University in New York City in 2019. Prior to joining OPIS, he was a foreign correspondent with S&P Global Platts in Mexico. He also spent a summer as a Parliamentary Assistant in Ottawa in 2014. His stories have also been published in several publications including the Daily Oil Bulletin, Washington Business Journal, Hill Times, Calgary Journal, Alberta Huffington Post and the Globe and Mail.


Jacob Wong

Jake Wong is a recent graduate of Mount Royal and where he studied Business Administration and minored in International Business. He spent a semester abroad in Sevilla, Spain during Winter 2020 where he lived with roommates from 8 different countries and had the opportunity to study Spanish, the European Union, international business and Spanish history at his host university. During his semester, he traveled to Morocco, Portugal, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and England. He was able to learn about major political events in his classes and experience them as they unfolded such as Brexit, the Spanish general election and the European Parliament elections. 


Jake was the Communications and Sponsorship Coordinator for MRU's 2018 New Student Orientation and now works full time at the University as a Student Services Associate. He also spent two years as a drummer for the Calgary Stampede Showband and traveled to Brazil with them to compete and perform. Jake hopes to continue building his career in and pursuing his passion for international and higher education in the future.