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Washington State University
Dividend - Fall 2019 The Next Carson Coug

Anna Budke:
Growing an International
Perspective in Greece

Story by Becky Kramer • Photo courtesy of Anna Budke

Studying in Greece last summer gave Anna Budke (’19) a taste of the cross-cultural experiences she’s likely to encounter in her future career as a CPA working with international clients.

During a Carson College faculty-led study abroad program, Budke studied the resort hospitality industry on the island of Crete, explored potential U.S. markets for premium Greek olive oil, and delved into Brexit’s tax implications.

But experiencing a different culture was perhaps the most valuable part of the study abroad, says Budke, an accounting major. Personal space was different in the parts of Greece she visited, and so were the norms for speech. A loud discussion didn’t necessarily indicate rudeness or an increase in aggression.

“I was taken aback by some of the customs I wasn’t used to,” Budke says. “This was a perfect way to realize that someone might have the same reaction to my actions or customs we have in the United States. It gave me a new perspective on giving people the benefit of the doubt in unfamiliar situations.”

Budke’s respect for Greek culture reflects an important goal within The Next Carson Coug curriculum, one that strives to develop cultural fluency and a global mindset. The curriculum will transform the way the Carson College educates business students. It builds on the college’s historic strengths—technical skills, work ethic, and spirit of community with roots in WSU’s mission—adding professional skills needed to compete in tomorrow’s business world.

Budke graduated in May with an accounting degree and intends to earn her master’s in taxation with a focus on data analytics. She also received a job offer to work for KPMG’s international tax department in the Seattle office.

Scholarships Open Doors for Fourth Generation Coug

The 21-year-old Spokane native comes from a Cougar family. She’s the fourth generation to attend Washington State University, following in the steps of her mom, grandmother, and great-grandfather.

Scholarships helped make her education possible, Budke said. Her study abroad trip was supported by a Carson International Business Scholarship and a Scott Vollink International Business Study Abroad Scholarship. She also received other scholarships supporting her undergraduate education.

Study Abroad Helps Grow Awareness of Other Cultures

Budke dates her interest in other countries to a trip her family took to Montreal when she was in middle school. While her dad attended business meetings for his work, the rest of the family explored the city’s French-Canadian culture.

Budke looks forward to working with an international clientele during her career. Interacting with local business people in Greece expanded her global perspective.

“I am far more curious about what I have yet to learn,” Budke says. “There are countless different cultures around the world, each with a unique perspective. I won’t get to experience them all, but the ones I do will hopefully help give me a more thoughtful approach to life.”