Published 08/11/15

Catching up with Emily Panasowich ’08, director of Asian operations, Destination Imagination

Emily PanasowichWhen she first came to Bryant, Emily Panasowich ’08 had never traveled outside of the United States. Before she graduated, she had studied in three countries, and today, she lives in Singapore and works with people in approximately 30 Asian countries, conducting new volunteer training, running camps and tournaments, and writing business plans.

“Bryant really gave me the confidence to work with people from various countries, and the awareness of basic cultural differences,” she says.

"Bryant really gave me the confidence to work with people from various countries, and the awareness of basic cultural differences."

A member of Bryant’s first class of International Business graduates, Panasowich was teaching English as a second language in a small farming community in South Korea when she received word of a job opening at educational nonprofit Destination Imagination. The organization teaches problem solving, creativity, and teamwork to kids by sponsoring competitions around the globe and was looking for an international coordinator.

“I knew I had to apply,” she recalls. The job description seemed a perfect fit: an International Business degree, knowledge of a second language, and work or study experience in another country.

Having professors from various cultural backgrounds, she says, helped her to learn the nuances of doing business in different areas of the world. To date, she has traveled to 15 countries.

Making friends overseas has been easy, especially since she joined a rugby team. “The people I met have amazing stories, a passion for living, and a curiosity to see the world around them,” she says. “Having people like that in my life has had a very positive impact.”

In January 2015, Panasowich met with Bryant students who were in Singapore as part of Sophomore International Experience (SIE) and arranged a service learning experience for them. “There are a lot of possibilities for the students here. I am happy to structure a Bryant student’s internship around what their interests are.”