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For some, the value of combining an MBA degree with service in the Peace Corps might seem less than obvious. At the Monterey Institute of International Studies, however, the two have been combined successfully for 15 years now under the auspices of the Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI) program and the Fisher International MBA program.

On November 5, the Institute and the Peace Corps co-hosted an event and reception celebrating the MBA program’s 15 years of collaboration with the Peace Corps. Monterey-area Congressman Sam Farr—a former MIIS student and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, or RPCV—attended and spoke to the group, as did Regional Manager Janet Allen of the Peace Corps’ San Francisco Regional Office. They were joined by current students, faculty, and staff associated with the program, a number of them fellow RPCVs.

Among the speakers was current student Adam Dittemore, who spoke of his desire to use his business skills to make a difference in the world by promoting micro-finance as a tool to support economic development. For him, the value of combining the Fisher International MBA program with Peace Corps service was clear, offering both the international experience and the rigorous finance and management training he is seeking for his future career.

Congressman Farr also recounted the tale of his own Peace Corps service in the early 1960s, and expressed his strong belief in the value of the service both for the host country and for the individual Peace Corps volunteer. Finally, Ms. Allen presented Associate Dean Toni Thomas (RPCV) of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management with a plaque commemorating the Fisher International MBA program’s 15 years of participation in the PCMI program.

Students in PCMI programs complete several semesters of academic work toward their master’s degree before serving a 27-month Peace Corps term of service. Upon their return from Peace Corps service, most students must complete a final semester of academic work to earn their master’s degrees from MIIS. PCMI students receive both academic credit and special scholarship support for the program.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir