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International Political Economy


Katherine Schlinder ’15

Class Year



International Political Economy, Spanish, Economics

Current home

Geneva, Switzerland

Current position

Consultant at International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland

By the time Katherine Schlinder graduated from Carthage in 2015, she was already quite accomplished. She had successfully completed three majors: international political economy, economics, and Spanish. She had studied abroad during J-Terms in Guatemala, China, Nicaragua, and Peru. She had performed in the Carthage Wind Orchestra, and was the recipient of a Music Scholarship, Hay Scholarship, the Merle and Eunice Boyer Social Science Scholarship, and the Carthage College Faculty Honor Scholarship.

But for Ms. Schlinder, Carthage was just a great start. In June 2017, she completed her dissertation for her master’s degree in international development. She recently accepted a contract position with the International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The centre is a joint agency of the UN and WTO to promote trade related technical assistance, along with small and medium enterprise development.


“Together with my study abroad experiences, the interdisciplinary nature of my studies at Carthage truly helped prepare me to tackle international development from a more nuanced perspective.”


What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“As a graduate student, I loved challenging myself to expand my conceptualizations of different issues and to approach complex matters from a variety of perspectives. The Graduate Institute is truly an international environment, and I loved that I was constantly learning new ideas from the other students at the Institute, even if it was during a coffee break. Plus, being centrally located in Europe made it that much easier to go out and experience the cultures and perspectives that we may talk about in class.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“Together with my study abroad experiences, the interdisciplinary nature of my studies at Carthage truly helped prepare me to tackle international development from a more nuanced perspective. My combination of international political economy, economics, and Spanish gave me the necessary quantitative and qualitative skills to further grow and expand my experiences through my academic and consulting projects in my current graduate program.

“I then was able to apply much of what I learned through study tours around the world and this helped solidify my interest in development and my current field.

“Additionally, the advising and recommendations from my faculty advisers, Art Cyr, Ed Montanaro and Ron Cronovich were invaluable as I made decisions concerning undergraduate projects and ultimately in my final decision regarding graduate school. In conjunction with my studies, these faculty advisers encouraged me to pursue my interest in international development through international travel and research projects, and supported me through my process of finding and getting accepted into the graduate schools of my choice.”

How has your liberal arts education helped you?

“During my first semester of graduate school, I participated in a consulting/innovation workshop series and worked on a challenge focused on channeling public and private investment to global water projects. The project involved a variety of dimensions such as financial considerations of costs and budgets, cultural impacts of different perspectives and values, and the logistical feasibility of different options. While we were working on the design of a platform to connect different partnerships and funding, I felt myself using a variety of the skills I learned through my academic and social experiences at Carthage.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“Engage with the international community as often as you can. People with different opinions or backgrounds can be powerful teachers and give you a new perspectives on what constitutes normal or feasible. Pursue diverse experiences whenever possible because it helps you grow personally and academically.”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“Freshmen year I went on a month-long J-Term study tour to Guatemala to study sustainable development, and to improve my Spanish language skills. This trip completely changed the trajectory of my career as it sparked my interest and enthusiasm for international development.

“Other study tours to China, Nicaragua, and Peru were incredible experiences that solidified my love for new cultures and languages, and helped me create lifelong friendships and grow both personally and academically. I will always remember the people I met, the friendships I made, and the adventures that I had on these trips.

Christmas Festival was also one of my favorite experiences at Carthage. I played oboe/English horn in Wind Orchestra and for the performances of Christmas Festival, the entire Music Department came together and joined forces to create an incredible celebration of music. I will never forget the chills and sense of unity that I felt every time as the entire chapel full of people joined with the choirs and bands in singing the final carols at the end of each performance.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • Carthage’s J-Term offers IPE students opportunities to study business culture in other countries. Recent J-Term study tours have been led by economics, finance, political science, and marketing faculty to such destinations as Sweden, Cuba, Argentina, southern Africa, and Hong Kong.

    • Carthage IPE graduates are working around the globe as computer analysts, financial advisors, investment brokers, international business analysts, mutual fund specialists, and for government and nonprofit organizations. 

    • Popular with IPE students, the student organization Enactus provides students with entrepreneurial experience through community projects. The group’s name borrows from three words: entrepreneurial, action, and us. Enactus has received regional and national recognition.

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …