Marie Kissel ’83 on Study Abroad and the Liberal Arts as a Foundation for an International Career

Author: Todd Boruff

Marie Kissel ’83 traces much of her success back to one key point in her Notre Dame experience: going overseas to Tokyo as an undergraduate.

“I’ve got this great job, I’m in a region that’s very exciting—that would not have happened without my opportunities at Notre Dame, especially through the study abroad programs,” she said.

Kissel is now vice president for government affairs for Asia at Abbott Laboratories, a global pharmaceuticals and health care products company headquartered in Chicago. Based in Abbott’s Tokyo offices, Kissel represents the company before government officials and also helps the company discern how certain government policies will be implemented related to their business.

A government major, she credits her liberal arts education for providing a great foundation for her career.

“It equips you with those communication skills, the analysis skills,” said Kissel. “It’s really been a great base to build on.”

Kissel studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo as an undergraduate, which established her interest in Japan and in Asia more broadly.

“The value from studying abroad is that it humbles you, and it forces you to consider how other people view issues,” she said. “We’re in a globalized world, and so having that awareness is important.”

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