Marvin A. Schroeder’s study abroad in Israel (1992) was more than a sightseeing trip—it was the springboard for his career in business consulting. Enthralled by the culture and politics, he returned to the Holy Land three years later to hone his language skills in the intensive Arabic program at BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies as part of his BA in international and area studies.
In addition to guiding his career, Schroeder related that his “completely delightful” education at the Kennedy Center impacted his thinking and reasoning in the business world. He recalls Professors Dilworth B. Parkinson, William J. Hamblin, Daniel Peterson, James A. Toronto, and Donna Lee Bowen as the most influential during his education. He claims his international studies degree “taught me to absorb new knowledge quickly and then communicate it expertly by word or pen.”
Capitalizing on his talents and interests, Schroeder continued developing his understanding of Middle Eastern political and business dynamics while pursuing his MBAat Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. He focused his studies on finance, international political economy, and the Middle East. Following graduation, Schroeder landed a job as a senior consultant with Arthur Andersen, a business consulting firm. “Learning other cultures, languages, histories, and political systems of the Middle East set me apart as a circumspect and knowledgeable individual in the workplace,” Schroeder reported.
As senior consultant, his duties included consulting in the oil, gas, and utility industries; financial and scenario modeling; market and economic analysis; and developing expert opinions and reports for international, domestic, and governmental arbitrations and legal actions. Schroeder worked with big name, multinational clients such as Shell Oil, Texaco, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Pennzoil.
Schroeder asserted that “one of the intangibles of an international studies background is flexibility.” Accordingly, after three years with Arthur Andersen, Schroeder shifted his career and began his current job as the business planning and market strategy manager for Compaq Computer Corporation in Houston, Texas. At Compaq, Schroeder is responsible for market research and strategy development, financial forecasting and analysis, and developing the business plan division. “I instinctively look at all the angles to find a solution in a way that more technical people around me do not,” he stated.
Moreover, Schroeder added, “My education comes in handy in everyday interactions and business relations. It makes for good conversation, selfsatisfaction, and power over the flood of opinions and rhetoric we are so beset by in this wild and wonderful world.”
Schroeder graduated from the Kennedy Center in 1995 in International and Area Studies.