Alumni Spotlight #1: Emelie Kallner

Alumni Spotlight: Emelie Kallner

PAU Graduate Finds Success

Swedish native Emelie Kallner dreamed of living in the U.S. since she was six years old, when she first had an American exchange student living with her family. Today at age 25, a summa cum laude graduate with a B.S. in Business Psychology degree from Palo Alto University, she’s made her dream come true.

Kallner first moved to the U.S. in 2006, and in 2008, she enrolled in classes at Foothill College. At the time, she was focused on studying international business, unaware of the option to earn a degree that combined business with psychology. One day, while at a recruiting event, someone at PAU approached Kallner about the PAU Business Psychology Program. “I thought to myself, wow, I need to learn more about this,” recalls Kallner. She sought out PAU’s Director of the Business Psychology Program, Professor Helena Ting, Ed.D., to gather more information. Not only was this a great option for Kallner, but she also learned that PAU would guarantee that she finish her upper degree work within two years. Where many college students’ junior and senior years often extend into three or more years, PAU ensures all students finish in two.

Upon graduating from PAU in June 2012, Kallner landed a coveted job with the German-based company SAP, a world leader in enterprise software and software-related services, on the company’s Global Diversity Team. Her role at SAP is to provide global guidance and local execution to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace not only from a company culture perspective but also as a competitive business strategy. 

“I think my business psychology degree is what sparked SAP’s interest in me,” adds Kallner. “As workplaces are becoming more diverse, a psychology background will become increasingly important in a business setting.”

Kallner cites that not only did the classes prepare her for her career, she had fun taking them. If you ask her what her favorite class was, she’s hard-pressed to pick just one.

“Professor Aneel Chima’s ethics class changed my life and how I look at the world,” remembers Kallner. “And Professor Joshua Avera always made the psychology classes interesting. He was constantly up to date on new research.”

Today, Kallner lives in Los Altos, just 19 years after she first dreamed of having a career in the U.S. “I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am in,” adds Kallner. “It is my hope that PAU will expand the Psychology Business program so that others can benefit as I have.”