Alumni Spotlight: Courtney Cornelius

Stories That Shaped Us: Reflecting on Scotland

Courtney Cornelius studied abroad with ISA in Stirling, Scotland Spring 2019. She was an ISA Global Ambassador at the University of Minnesota Duluth before graduating in December 2020. Courtney now works in marketing for Post Consumer Brands. Courtney shares reflections from her time abroad in Stirling and how she gained self-confidence, independence and adaptability. We reached out to learn more about the stories that have shaped her!

What inspired you to study abroad in Scotland?  

I was inspired to study abroad in Scotland because it had always been my dream to study abroad with my best friend. We chose Scotland because of the immediate access to hiking and running trails that fit our love for adventuring in the outdoors. Stirling, known as the “gateway to the north” is nestled between both major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, so travel was made exceptionally easy to access. Stirling was the perfect choice as it met our criteria for small-town charm in which we were not used to coming from large, metropolitan cities. Scotland was especially appealing because of its natural beauty and location within Europe.

What were you most nervous about before you landed in Scotland?

I was most nervous about traveling alone outside the US. I had never left the US before and it was uncharted territory for me. I was also nervous about living in a new country and figuring out how to navigate the city without standing out. 

What were your top 3 favorite places in Scotland and why?

My top 3 favorite places in Scotland are Isle of the Skye because of its incredible beauty hardly touched by civilization. The island, covered by fairy pools, waterfalls, rivers, mountains, and grasslands, has some of the most spectacular views I have seen during my travels. Secondly, I have a special place in my heart for Stirling Castle. Stirling Castle is nestled atop a hill in Stirling, which I had a glimpse of from my flat window. It was amazing to have a view of a castle outside my window, unlike any view back home. Lastly, I loved St. Andrews. I grew up watching my dad watch golf and getting to share a visit to St. Andrews with him was unlike any other. It was incredible to play on the first golf course. Additionally, the city itself was gorgeously located along the coastline and had exquisite charm.  

How did you grow from this experience, both personally and professionally?

I truly grew into the person I always dreamt of being from my experience studying abroad. I gained so much self-confidence and independence. I learned that no goal or dream is too small when you work hard. It had always been my lifelong dream to study abroad and travel to Greece. Both experiences occurred during my international journey to which I never could’ve imagined.

As a professional, my skillsets advanced as I navigated through unforeseen circumstances and learned how to be flexible. When living and traveling internationally, nothing goes as expected. Being able to show ambiguity and adaptability has become evident in my professional career. 

What are you up to now? 

I recently graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in December 2020 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Marketing with a minor in Sustainable Organization Management. In the middle of January, I started a full-time marketing position with Post Consumer Brands. I cannot wait to book my next international trip and continue learning about the world around me!

What’s your favorite part of your job? Why?

My favorite part about working at Post Consumer Brands is getting to create marketing plans for specific cereal brands and watching them come to life in certain retailers. I have the opportunity to exude creativity while working with different teams across the organization, which puts together a few of my favorite things. 

Inspired by Courtney’s journey and want to discover your own while immersing yourself in an abroad experience? Fill out your details below to let our team know and we’ll help you find your adventure today!

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