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Sofia Collette Ehrich

Position and company: Academic Researcher, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Country of work: Netherlands
Degree Attained at UCLA: BA in Art History, Minor in German
Graduation Year: 2019
What inspired or motivated you to pursue work abroad? Was this always your plan?
I did not always plan to live abroad, although I was always an avid international traveler. I moved abroad because I was interested in pursuing a master's degree and there were many interesting English degree options in the Netherlands.
Can you speak a little bit about your career and how it has progressed since graduating from UCLA?
Since graduating UCLA, I was eager to learn more about art and discover a new country. After moving to the Netherlands, I discovered a very interesting field: Smell Culture Studies. I am now employed on a European Union funded research project called Odeuropa, which advocates for smell and smelling as important to cultural heritage. Within the project, I work with museums and perfumers to organize, produce, and curate events using scent as a medium of storytelling.
What would you say to a UCLA student who is planning on having an international career?
I would definitely encourage this, although it is a challenging adventure! It is difficult to leave behind all that is familiar to discover a new place but rewarding as you learn about and meet new people from cultures different from yours. Gaining an international perspective on work dynamics and professional networking is valuable experience that you can only gain from leaving the United States and stepping out of your comfort zone for an international adventure.

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