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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of Kelly Brooks in Spain

Returning to Spain

Alumna teaching in Spain after studying abroad there just before the pandemic

Alumna Kelly Brooks (‘21 management and marketing) is living her dream teaching English in Madrid a year after graduation.

Brooks, from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is an English language assistant for the governmental Ministry of Education in Spain. In September 2021, Brooks began teaching students in first through sixth grade to practice their English fluency while assisting them with in-class and homework assignments.

“It has always been a dream of mine to teach English in a Spanish-speaking country,” Brooks said. “Working with children and teaching is a very rewarding experience.”

Before moving to Spain while she was a USC undergraduate, Brooks studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Unfortunately, her time there was cut short due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she knew she wanted to return in the future.

“The overall experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to appreciate a different culture,” Brooks said. “I loved my time in Barcelona, and I think the most memorable part was how much more independent I became.”

Brooks’ study abroad experience came in part thanks to her decision to attend the Moore School. She says her desire to work in business and the school’s prestige were factors in her decision to come to USC. Brooks also said the resources provided by the Moore School were another reason she chose to enroll.

“I loved how many departments and resources there were throughout the school,” she said. “I utilized many of them in my four years like the Office of Career Management, the writing center and my faculty advisors.”

With degrees in management and marketing, Brooks hopes to use her understanding of consumer habits to one day operate her own business.

“I am interested in the consumer behavior aspect of marketing,” she said. “I always thought it was interesting to analyze customer trends and understand how buyers think. I am not sure exactly what type of business I want, but I knew learning about entrepreneurship would provide me with the knowledge I would need.”

While her time at the Moore School has ended, she says the skills the Moore School taught her will carry on throughout her career.

“I learned a lot about creating a professional profile,” Brooks said. “From resume assistance, interview prep and networking events, the Moore School has helped me. I would say I've used these resources for every job that I have had or interviewed for.”

Brooks also credits the projects from her classes for teaching her about working in varying business sectors.

“Many of my classes also incorporated projects that were related to real-life experiences,” she said. “These assignments strengthened my analytical thinking and allowed me to see what it would be like to work in different business roles.”

In the future, Brooks plans to return to the U.S. to live closer to friends and family. Once back in the states, she says she would like to work for a company in their marketing department.

“I want to be working in a collaborative environment where I can express my creativity and have growth opportunities,” she said. “I would like to be working for a company related to things I am passionate about like travel, fitness or food.”

When she returns, Brooks hopes to continue incorporating into her life a mindset she has attained while living in Spain that she sums up as “work to live.”

“Living in Spain has taught me to be more present,” she said. “I think in the U.S., the lifestyle is very 'live to work,' and I want to change that mindset in whatever position I have in the future.”

-James Culbertson

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.