The Fab Five
Liberal Arts Fellows study, intern, travel abroad, and leap majors in a single bound!
Alexander Foss ’12
Alexander Foss has packed two bachelor degrees, four minors, and six study abroad experiences into an upbeat academic career that plays like Django Reinhardt. Foss began college as a jazz performance major. Music is now one of his minors along with cinema studies, Spanish, and German.
This spring, he will graduate with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business administration with double concentrations in marketing and management.
Foss is quick to point out that he has been in college longer than most students. He studied for five-and-a-half years and every summer in between.
“I’m unlikely to have a repeat opportunity to acquire this kind of an education,” he explains. “So I’m happy to have taken the extra time to accomplish all that I wanted.”
Foss forged many productive relationships with his professors and often integrated his knowledge across his disciplines. For example, he led a team that produced a comparative report of a major automobile company’s marketing strategies in Germany and Costa Rica, for which his languages and studies in persuasive writing were critical. Throughout it all, his studies in communication with professors James Farrell and Michael Jackson allowed him to apply the techniques of ancient philosophers and rhetoricians to his writing, public speaking, and thinking.
Foss considers his studies abroad to be the most profound of his life. He spent two summers each in Spain and Germany, a fall semester in Hungary, and a spring semester in England—almost two calendar years.
While on campus, Foss honed his appreciation for the dynamics of both social and academic groups. He worked as a resident assistant for a year and lived in the international residence hall for three.
These experiences served him well in his various team projects while studying abroad, which were not always in English. “The number of opinions in international teams is amazing,” he says. “It’s magical to see groups with that degree of diversity pull together and produce great work.”
Foss also served as a team leader in his Marketing Workshop class, in which the class acted as a consulting agency for a UNH-sponsored technology startup, Regaalo.
In his internships and work experiences, Foss was able to street-test some of his ideas. During an internship at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., he researched social-media applications for employee education—research that may benefit thousands of veterans across the country.
After graduation, Foss will start as a strategy intern in the San Francisco office of Interbrand, a global marketing consulting company. His long-term aspirations include graduate studies in business and law and careers in international marketing and public service.
Alexander Foss is one of three graduating seniors who received the UNH Award of Excellence, which recognizes excellence in leadership, scholarship, and citizenship. Foss is from Franconia, N.H.
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