To Malaysia and Back

PROVO, Utah – May 12, 2020 – BYU Marriott alum and former Eccles scholar Colin Ludlow created his own career opportunities and followed his passion for international business first to Japan and then to Malaysia. Now as he settles back into life in the United States, Ludlow is grateful for the global experiences he’s had and wants others to know that they too can be internationally minded—even if they don’t have the opportunity to work abroad.

Ludlow, who is originally from Spanish Fork, Utah, graduated from BYU Marriott with a BS in business management in 2011 and an MBA in 2018. As an MBA student, he was awarded the Eccles Scholar Award by the Global Management Center in 2017 and received $9,000 for his international business efforts in the past as well as his plans moving forward in his future career. In addition to this award, Ludlow earned the global management certificate while at BYU Marriott.

From a young age, Ludlow, a second-generation Japanese American, considered himself internationally minded. His mother was an immigrant from Japan, so he often spent time visiting her home country growing up. What ultimately sparked his interest in international business was his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Tokyo from 2005 to 2007. This experience led him first to an internship doing cancer research in Japan while pursuing his undergraduate degree and then to a job with Daifuku, one of the world’s largest material-handling-systems manufacturers, after graduation. 

As an employee for Daifuku, Ludlow worked in marketing and corporate communications. Part of his job was the unification of corporate messaging and branding across the various companies under the Daifuku name; these companies were either Daifuku subsidiaries or acquisitions. With each new acquisition, Ludlow was responsible for meeting and discussing branding and marketing efforts with company and marketing executives from the acquired companies.

At Daifuku, Ludlow often found himself focusing on company culture and how to best tailor communications and integrate new companies based on different cultures. During this move from corporate communications to corporate culture, Ludlow realized he might find more enjoyment and success in the human resources field. He found this new work fascinating, and this experience ultimately led him to switching career fields. “I became interested in affecting corporate culture and how corporate culture can affect employees' lives,” says Ludlow. “I liked to see how a company in general can improve and affect lives.”

After Ludlow’s experience working in Japan, he returned to BYU Marriott to pursue his MBA. With the $9,000 he received as an Eccles scholar, Ludlow was able to go on international trips as part of his MBA experience. In his second year of the program, Ludlow participated on a study abroad to Europe as well as a trip to Vietnam. His travel helped him expand his knowledge of various cultures and their importance in human resources.

During summer 2017, Ludlow worked for Dell as an HR graduate intern. After his graduation from the BYU Marriott MBA program in 2018, he returned to Dell to join the company’s HR Rotation Program. This past year, when the program expanded globally for the first time, he gladly applied. Ludlow was chosen and sent to Penang, Malaysia, for the yearlong assignment.

For Ludlow, the assignment was easy to accept. “Working internationally has always been in my plan,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to learn about different countries, understand their cultures, and see what knowledge I can take from different regions of the world and implement that into business.”

Working abroad has been a highlight of Ludlow’s career, but he recognizes that you can have a global impact without travelling far from home. “As I was working in Malaysia, I started to get a sense that though I am in one country, I can still reach out to other parts of the world and learn from them,” says Ludlow. “Working inside another country is the most effective way to gain knowledge about a different culture, but you can still gain insights without working internationally. You can be mindful of people living in other regions of the world where you can gain their insight and understand their points of view when working on any sort of global project.”

After several years living and working internationally, Ludlow and his family have settled in Round Rock, Texas, where he continues to work for Dell. As he looks back on his experiences abroad, Ludlow notes the hard work he put into obtaining each work position. “I am proud of the fact that I pursued these international opportunities,” he says. “Nothing has been handed to me, and I have found my opportunities on my own.”

Ludlow is grateful he received the Eccles Scholar Award during his time at BYU because the award helped him show companies that he is serious about global work experience. For those who want to pursue international business careers, Ludlow encourages them to find their own opportunities just as he did. “Sometimes sacrifices have to be made, but these sacrifices will ultimately help you achieve your goal.”

Colin Ludlow.
Colin Ludlow. Photo courtesy of Colin Ludlow.
Colin Ludlow with his family in Malaysia.
Colin Ludlow with his family in Malaysia. Photo courtesy of Colin Ludlow.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Natalie Heidemann