Alumni Stories: Natalie Batlle (Global Studies/Global Security ’08)

Since graduating from UWM in 2008 with a degree in Global Studies I’ve worked in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Barcelona, Spain. My Global Studies degree has served me like a passport, opening doors to new cities, cultures and diverse experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to access on my own. Today I’m the Brand Director for an exciting travel start­up called​ ​trip4real​. This peer­to­peer platform enables residents to take part of the tourism ecosystem, while at the same time giving travelers the inside edge. With trip4real travelers can make real connections with their hosts, discover local trends and immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations. Kind of perfect for someone with a background in international studies, don’t you think?

The truth is I love my job. I’m the voice of the brand and the strategist behind our international expansion and communications efforts. On any given day I’m meeting with travelers and locals at one of our tours or telling media about our story and mission. Plus it keeps me traveling. Which has always been a passion of mine. This year I’ve hosted media events inside the iconic​ ​St.Pancras Clock Tower​, presented trip4real to the European Commission in Brussels and participated in a host of roundtables about the future of the sharing economy and the travel industry at large.

I wasn’t sure what I would do with my degree when I switched to Global Studies my sophomore year. I have always been interested in politics and international communications and so I immediately took to the curriculum. I cherished the lively debates we had in our public policy and politics of human rights classes. My professors were passionate and taught us to debate with facts, not pre­conceived notions. Looking back I realise I also belonged to a great class. We enjoyed one another’s company and supported each other’s personal projects from art shows to documentary screenings. Many of us still keep in touch today, and it’s great to see so many of them succeed as filmmakers, journalists, producers, humanitarians and business leaders. UWM provided the foundation to help me arrive to where I am today and I’m looking forward to collaborating with the Center for International Education as an ambassador for the Global Studies program. It’s exciting to think about what’s next!