A Conversation with COM Alumna Micha Sabovik

Previous students of the College of Communication may know Micha Sabovik as the former assistant dean, who helped them as an advisor a few years back. For those who haven’t kept up with her impressive career, though, Sabovik now works at the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), where she has recently employed teams from both PRLab and ADLab to help her get the word out.

Before she was a faculty member, Sabovik was a BU COM student herself–from 1992 to 1996, when she graduated with a degree in journalism.

“I came to BU 1992,” she said. “I lived in Warren Towers freshman year, and there were more people in my dorm than there are in my hometown. I met my husband there. We were on the 11c COM floor together. We started dating freshman year, and then we got married in Marsh Chapel.”

From there, Sabovik went on to work with undergraduate and graduate students–for more than 18 years–hosting events, creating social media, and forming what would become the COM ambassadors program. Even after she left her position as assistant dean in 2015, Sabovik continued to teach occasional courses at COM as an adjunct professor in advertising.

She maintains this connection to the school because of her affection for all that COM has to offer.

“The great thing about COM is that I have a lot of favorites there. The professors, faculty and staff are all fantastic,” Sabovik said.

When she began transitioning out of her job at COM, after such a long tenure with the program, “it was bittersweet,” but Sabovik knew she wanted to continue to help students learn and grow–especially those who are not often given the opportunity.

When she was recruited for a role as the executive director of global enrollment at CIEE, the oldest and largest study abroad program in the country,  Sabovik thought it would be “a good match” for her personal and professional interests.

As she stepped into her new role this fall, Sabovik made a strong impression on her co-workers at CIEE, including Drew Widger, director of lead management and marketing. He entered his position just one month after Sabovik joined the team.

Micha has a very hard job. None of her direct reports are in the Boston office so she has a lot of responsibility she doesn’t see every day,” Widger said. “I think the most impressive thing is how ready she is to hop on a plane and go get something done. She even went on a weeklong, west-coast trip with our boss, the CMO, and the CEO in February – just three months into her job. That shows you how capable she is.”

Sabovik focuses on increasing the CIEE applicant pool to account for more variety. When she stepped into this role a few months ago, she decided the best way to go about her job was to “figure out how we can get more diverse people who may not have thought that study abroad was an opportunity for them, to get them to realize that it is a transformative opportunity.”

CIEE has a unique set of programs to foster these opportunities for their students. At CIEE, a student can “design your [their] program.” Students can, for example, go to three different countries in one semester to broaden the scope of their study abroad experience. With schools in 40 different countries, there are more than 250 options for students in these programs, and CIEE in continuing to open more schools this fall.

“We have one foot in the traditional, but keep thinking ‘what will be most helpful to our students in their learning?’” Sabovik said.

To help answer this question, Sabovik decided to bring aboard some college students who could help build a foundation of content going forward. She had CIEE partner with AdLab and PRLab this spring semester.

Widger also worked with Sabovik and the PRLab team.

When we went to see the PRLab presentations, Micha took me on a mini-tour of her old haunts. I could tell she was really proud. Everyone was super happy to see her,” Widger said.

Although she no longer works at BU full time, Sabovik is a dedicated Terrier for life, and always loves talking to those with whom she used to work and mentor. She hopes to stay with CIEE in Boston, continuing the love for the city that she began to foster while at BU.

“I started out in BU as a freshman. I felt a sense of home and community, and I decided that I didn’t want to leave,” Sabovik said.

For more information about CIEE visit: ciee.org

 

 

Lexi Smith, Staff Writer

Lexi Smith is a junior in a dual-degree program, studying Public Relations and Middle East & North Africa Studies. She is a member of both the Air Force ROTC detachment and the club women’s rugby team here at BU.

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