Growing up in Kuwait, St. Louis wasn’t exactly on Nour Salmeen’s radar.
“Coming from the Middle East, you think America is just New York and California,” says Salmeen, smiling. “Nobody mentions the middle. Obviously it’s not what they show in the media, so it’s a nice surprise. It’s like a hidden world.”
And it’s a world that’s been full of opportunity for Salmeen, who is pursuing her MBA at the University of Missouri–St. Louis after earning a BSBA with a marketing emphasis from UMSL in 2014.
When moving to the U.S. for college, Salmeen first followed in her older sister’s footsteps. She enrolled at the University of Missouri–Columbia where her sister was working toward a journalism degree. Columbia wasn’t a good fit for the younger Salmeen, who was studying marketing.
Rather than look to New York or California, she turned her attention 125 miles east on Interstate 70. She’s been in love with St. Louis and UMSL ever since.
Salmeen was drawn to UMSL by the university’s strong business program, connections to the community and internship opportunities. She has since coupled her marketing studies with UMSL’s outstanding International Business program. She credits Elizabeth Vining, teaching professor of marketing and IB Fellow, for encouraging her to explore the IB program, which was ranked 12th nationally by U.S. News and World Report in September.
She’s made the most of her time at UMSL. Salmeen twice went abroad for two-week faculty-led tours, one to Dubai and the other to China. She works as a marketing assistant for UMSL’s Millennium Student Center Operations. And she counts among her marketing internships stints with The Firecracker Press and O’Fallon Brewery.
For the latter, she assisted with the company’s brand expansion and launch of a new $11 million brewery and taproom in Maryland Heights, Mo.
Salmeen’s also compiled a lengthy list of mentoring, volunteering and student program participation efforts. Joe Rottman, director of UMSL’s International Business Institute, where Salmeen is a graduate research assistant, sums up her boundless energy by saying she’ll be a great catch for any company when she enters the job market.
“Nour represents all that is great about our top-ranked International Business program,” Rottman says. “Our students have a reputation of being ambitious workers, eager to embrace leadership roles and community engagement opportunities, and she’s no exception. I have no doubt that Nour will do well in the global job market and quickly provide value to any company she joins.”
Salmeen keeps busy, but she’s had plenty of time to make a realization.
“St. Louis is a hidden gem,” she says. “There’s so much diversity and so much free stuff to do – all of these events, the zoo, the museums, Forest Park. It’s really a great community. I feel like I’m a good fit here and don’t see myself moving anywhere else anytime soon. St. Louis is home.”
This story was originally published in the fall 2015 issue of UMSL Magazine.