Jenny Corlett, Manager, International Programs Office
There is no typical day for Jenny Corlett in the International Programs Office (IPO). Every day there is a new challenge, whether it be helping a student deal with pre-departure nervousness or working to develop new international opportunities.
“It is never dull working in international education,” says Ms Corlett, Manager, IPO. “There is always something to learn. I like problem-solving and being creative about how to make things happen.”
The IPO, located in Mackintosh-Corry Hall, coordinates exchanges and study abroad experiences predominantly for students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Ms Corlett works closely with students, staff and faculty at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) in the United Kingdom, but she contributes to the success of many other programs as well, including international exchanges, Queen’s-Blyth Worldwide and the Kwansei Gakuin University Cross-Cultural College program.
A longtime Queen’s stalwart, Ms Corlett completed an undergraduate degree in physical geography and a Bachelor of Education at the university. As a devoted outdoorsperson, she expected to keep working in outdoor and environmental education, which she had been doing during summers and for two years after graduation. Instead, in 1998 she began working at Queen’s School of Business, as a program manager/application advisor in the Executive MBA. She coordinated international placements at the BISC, known as the Castle, and went there herself – her first time abroad – for six weeks.
“I literally went from the bush to the boardroom,” says Ms Corlett, of her transition. “It was certainly a switch. But I learned a lot and it opened my eyes to the business world.”
The experience at the Castle also opened her eyes to different approaches to education, to a more European lifestyle, and to the benefits of international education. She transitioned easily into her role at the IPO in 2003. Every September, she welcomes the flood of international students into the office, each one bringing a different accent and perspective of the world. Conversely, when Queen’s students come home, enthusiastic and deeply affected by their experience abroad, she is overjoyed.
“There is a transformation that happens for students and I think, for all of us in the IPO, that’s a huge motivator.”