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LSB alumna shares international professional experience with business students

Hilary Corna ’07 visited Elon on April 21 and 22 to share her experiences of living and working abroad since graduation.

Hilary Corna '07 speaks to students in Professor Benson's Legal and Ethical Environment of Business class.

Corna spoke to the International Business Club on Apr. 21 and to the following classes on Apr. 22: Business Economics, Legal and Ethical Environment of Business and Business Policy. 

Corna was a Business Fellow at Elon with a major in international business and Asian studies. Upon graduation she bought a one-way ticket to Singapore with the goal of wanting to live and work abroad in Japan. She became the first ‘white face’ to work in Singapore’s Toyota plant, where she worked for three years as a kaizen leader with dealerships in Asia, mostly the Philippines and India, to improve operations and share best practices.

“Hilary came to speak in my (business fellows) legal and ethical environment of business class,” said Erin Scally ’14. “She was a wonderful speaker and had a wealth of advice to share.  Being so young and relatable (she was an Elon business fellow alum), I was inspired by what she had accomplished in just the few short years following graduation.  Hilary spoke with candidness about what it really takes to work abroad in a professional business setting. She shared personal anecdotes that resonated with many of the students in my class.  We felt very fortunate to have Hilary come back and help those who wish to follow similar footsteps.”

Corna is the author of One White Face, which was inspired by her experience being the first white person to work in the Toyota plant. She is also the founder of LiveandWorkAbroad.org which provides people looking to live and work abroad with an eCourse in how to make that possible. Corna is now on a nationwide book tour sponsored by Toyota Motor USA.

“We really enjoyed having Hilary speak; she had an abundance of advice for us,” said Jennifer Smith ’14, a member of the International Business Club. “She made things relatable and encouraged us to really pursue our passions. The conversation was candid and personable where she told both the highs and lows of her experiences; when she was at a loss for what to do and how she got over these obstacles.  The biggest takeaway was to be picky now and really follow your passions.  It will be easier to do this now before family and friends tie you down.  Don't let others tell you what you should do, follow your dreams and explore the world.”

Prior to Corna's speaking engagements, she was awarded Elon's Top 10 Under 10 Award at a banquet on Apr. 20. The award honors alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years, enjoyed major professional success, make a big difference in their community and been a loyal supporter of Elon.

4/26/2013 11:50 AM