This is the first in a series of spotlights on our Kelley staff at IUPUI. Watch for a new spotlight every week.
He was nervous in a big, unfamiliar city, trying to make his way to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand during a study abroad program for his doctoral degree. It was at that moment of uncertainty Eric Raider says he discovered his potential.
“By allowing myself to be vulnerable, I learned what I was capable of,” explained Raider, who is the associate director of student engagement for the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI. “I always use my experience as an example for students when they come in to discuss study abroad programs. You’re going to be vulnerable – and you need to be vulnerable at some point. That’s when you’re going to learn more about yourself: what you can and can’t do. You’ll realize your limitations, but more than that, you’ll realize your true potential.”
Raider went to the University of Indianapolis for his undergraduate degree and worked there for a couple years before coming to work as an advisor at the Kelley School in 2008.
“Maureen Kinney, the assistant Undergraduate Program director at the time, encouraged her staff to find what it is they’re truly passionate about,” explained Raider. “If it wasn’t included in your job description, she encouraged you to find a way to add it. I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but it wasn’t until my study abroad program to Thailand that I realized my true passion was in study abroad – working with faculty, students and staff to create programs and study abroad experiences to benefit everyone.”
Raider says his biggest regret as an undergrad was that he never studied abroad. When he received an email about a program for his doctoral program in higher education and student affairs, he knew he had to do it.
“It was a life-changing experience for me,” said Raider. “I saved up all my vacation time for the trip. I ended up being the only person in my group traveling to Chulalongkorn University every day, and that was what created those uncertain moments for me in a big city, trying to find my way there. Because I was by myself, I learned so much about the culture, about the people and about the country."