Susana Grau Batlle
When she launched her high-end jewelry business SUSANA GRAU BATLLE in 2021, School of Diplomacy alumna Susana Grau Batlle '07 took a leap of faith. She found new and interesting ways to bridge her love for art with her passion for helping others. Her first collection, "The MOTHER of MOTHERS," released in October of last year, features five one-of-a-kind rings that pay tribute to the earth, its creation, and its feminine force and soul. (Click here to see the behind-the-scenes video). Her work has been featured in countless fashion and jewelry magazines in France, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, and the UK. For those currently in the Diplomacy Program at Seton Hall, opportunities with their degrees are limitless. Still, it is sometimes difficult to know how they can transform the world. Batlle's experience post-graduation helped shed some light on how students can use their degrees and follow a nontraditional path.
Batlle credits the School of Diplomacy with providing her with the skills needed to understand the field of international affairs and the diverse professional avenues available. Those skills prepared her to be an evolving professional in international relations. After graduation, Batlle worked on conflict and post-conflict assignments worldwide. Her time in these environments helped her develop a sensitivity to ethical practices, and her appreciation for beauty deepened as she experienced the vast world beyond the U.S. borders. She took these core beliefs and used them as the foundation for her company. The jewelry at her company aims to be as ethical as possible and ensure the protection of finite resources, which is why the company created the Earth Fund, where a percentage of its sales go to different organizations that protect the planet and its people. Click here to see the manifesto video.
Even after launching her brand, Batlle continues to work full-time in the field of international relations. As she expands and continues growing, she finds art and beauty as a new way to connect with others globally, creating a more complete experience. This experience also helps fulfill her passion for art and to express her creativity. For those looking to change careers or evolve into new and diverse interests, she challenges them to go for it. She suggests one "dare to craft a new version of you and to be open to change, even when it feels scary, and you don't have all the answers."
She continued that encouragement with her advice to current graduate students. She believes that while your professional experience will shape you, it is not the complete picture of who you are. She encouraged graduate students to take risks and not to "settle for any preconceptions made by society telling you what you should do, how, and by when." Every person should follow their own North Star and allow it to be the guiding light of how they can best express themselves. She reminded us that high temperatures and high amounts of pressure cause carbon atoms to bond to form beautiful diamonds. She believes one's life and professional experiences will help one develop and evolve uniquely and beautifully.