Bo Johnson

Program Coordinator, Seminarium International
University of Evansville, Class of 2001
Bo Johnson Headshot

​​The word “liberal” immediately evokes in my mind the concept of freedom. As a student at the University of Evansville (UE), a liberal arts school in southern Indiana, it was important to me to have the freedom to pursue a variety of both academic and social interests, to develop strong new relationships, to question the things that did not make sense to me, and to look for answers to those questions. I wanted to have the support of a university faculty and campus atmosphere that encouraged individuality, and my liberal arts education at the University of Evansville fulfilled all of those desires and more. I have asked myself over the years if maybe I should have studied something more practical during my college years, but the truth is that I would never trade my Spanish and international studies degrees for other degrees because they have given me the freedom to take advantage of incredible experiences as an adult that I only dreamed about when I was younger.​

Since graduating from UE, I have lived internationally in both Chile (twice) and Panama; I have worked for three international companies in very different roles; I have traveled throughout Chile, the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean; and I have met an abundance of interesting people, many of whom I now call friends. While a certain amount of luck enabled me to have these amazing experiences, it would be inaccurate to say that my liberal arts education and the concept of freedom that Evansville instilled in me had nothing to do with my post-college life. My liberal arts education provided me with the self-confidence and knowledge to challenge the status quo, to embark on a variety of new adventures, to easily adapt to new situations, to pursue numerous professional opportunities, to seek out happiness, and to never settle for a life of boredom.
 
To the parents of current high school students who are now or will soon be in the process of helping their children choose a university: please be encouraging and supportive during this transitional time in your child’s life. The best thing a parent can do is to praise his or her child’s individuality and uniqueness, and it is of tantamount importance that parents encourage their children’s sense of self-worth. A liberal arts education is one of the best tools a parent can give his or her child because it will strengthen that child’s confidence and appreciation of independence. 
 
To the high school students who are looking at universities, considering majors, and trying to fathom the changes awaiting them just around the corner: dream big and never limit yourselves. Go a little crazy. Test boundaries and set your sights on what you consider to be unattainable. Question everything. If something seems absurd or illogical to you, call it out. Be a catalyst for change. Feel impassioned and empowered by the freedom to be yourselves and never let that freedom go to waste. 

Bo Johnson moved to Santiago, Chile after graduating from the University of Evansville in December 2001 and spent five years teaching English at various institutes. Shortly after returning to the U.S. in April 2007, he started working at Mars Petcare in the exports area, focusing on product registrations and export documentation. In January 2012, he was hired by Mars Caribbean and Central America as a regulatory affairs analyst, based in Panama, and oversaw import compliance for chocolate and pet food products imported from the U.S. and Mexico. In April 2014, Johnson moved back to Chile to work for Seminarium International as a program coordinator for advanced education seminars held in Santiago and Bogotá, Colombia.