Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

One course, new direction

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Recent MBA alumna Kerry Slattery now calls Cambodia home.

September 2013

If the world is a stage, Kerry Slattery has made her debut.

This month, Slattery (MBA '13) packed her bags and took off for a bold new venture—teaching international marketing at the National University of Management in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Not surprisingly, this wasn’t exactly part of her plan three years ago; she had just moved to Chicago with a degree in biology and wanted to switch jobs.

'Loyola U' turn

“Two things changed my life,” Slattery says. “Getting my MBA with a business ethics concentration and the Southeast Asia study abroad trip with Professor Shultz.”

In January 2012, Slattery attended Quinlan's Southeast Asia study abroad program, a 10-day consumer behavior course in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, led by Clifford Shultz, Charles H. Kellstadt Chair of Marketing.

She immediately fell in love with Cambodia.

“It felt very hopeful, like people were working hard to change things," she says. "The people were so welcoming and sincere."

After returning home, Slattery began researching education and women’s issues in developing countries and how to use business to achieve social goals. Then, as she started looking for jobs, she found herself thinking back to Cambodia and decided to turn to her professor for help.

“I told Kerry that she has the potential to become a star,” says Shultz, who tapped into his vast overseas network to help Slattery land her first global gig. “If we really believe in this mantra ‘preparing people to lead extraordinary lives,’ Kerry is the poster child of that.”

An ex-pat with impact

With this next chapter, Slattery says she “wants her work to have a positive impact on someone else” and would eventually like to move toward social entrepreneurship in her newfound home.

“She’ll clearly be a good ambassador,” Shultz says. “I’m hopeful this becomes the early bricks in the foundation for other Quinlan students.”

Want more? Follow Slattery's journey throughout Cambodia by clicking here.