Global Spotlight: Kim Knowles Gathers New Perspectives to Bring Back to Her Students

Posted: Wednesday, March 18th 2015 at 11:08 AM

There is a lot to learn from travelling. Whether it’s broadening your horizons with something new or just being pushed to the edge of your comfort zone, there’s always something to be gained. Kim Knowles, SHRM’s advisement coordinator, understands the benefits of exploring new countries and gathering new perspectives.

She caught the traveling bug when she would fly with her late husband, who worked for an airline, and they would go wherever they wanted. Some of the places they visited during that time included Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Thailand, and China. She was able to gain an appreciation for different cultures.

For the last seven years, she’s been planning cruises with her sister each spring break to visit more countries for fun.

“I like being able to go places where you pack your suitcase once, unpack your suitcase once, and then the boat takes you to all the different places,” she said. 

There’s also the entertainment aspect on the cruise ship itself to look forward to. For their upcoming trip, Knowles and her sister plan to take Norwegian Cruise Lines to the Caribbean. While they wait to arrive in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, they’ll also get the opportunity to enjoy performances by the Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil.

“I think this one’s going to be our best one,” Knowles said.

Spring break has been the perfect opportunity for the two of them to get away for a while and enjoy the warmth that’s already reached other parts of the world. Their last cruise, for example, brought them to Italy.

Knowles has been able to connect with NAU's international students as a result of her travels. Her experience serves her well for working in the hotel and restaurant management area where it's very common to work with individuals from other countries. Understanding how cultural norms may vary is deeply beneficial.

"I think visiting other countries helps me in my job at SHRM because we have students from all over the world, and they are delighted when I say I have visited their home country," she said. "We can talk about the things that I saw on my trip, and I believe they have a piece of home in this reminder. Plus, they like to look at the pictures I take and tell me things about them that I may not have gotten on the tours," she shared.

About her traveling experiences overall, Knowles said, “I’ve learned about a lot of new cultures and that people are pretty much the same everywhere.”

This article is part of a series on FCB Business Division and SHRM faculty and staff to highlight the international experience within the college and to promote our globalization initiatives, including the launch of the Global Business Program (GBP). Information on this program can be found HERE.

Categories: global spotlight kim knowles spring 2015 2015