Marcus McChristian

Marcus McChristian

1992 Business Administration and Insurance and Risk Management
Alumnus at Indiana State University

Marcus McChristian, PhD, loves to travel and live abroad. Fortunately, he found a career that takes him all over the world: Dr. McChristian works as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State. The 1992 business administration and insurance and risk management alumnus from Indianapolis never anticipated this career path. But as he attests, instead of choosing your career, sometimes your career chooses you.

“I’ve always had an interest in culture and seeing how other individuals live outside the United States. I’ve been enamored with international travel and seeing how other people deal with issues in their countries. I never knew this interest would lead me down this path as a foreign service officer,” Dr. McChristian says.

Following graduation from Indiana State, Dr. McChristian began his career in insurance. In the early years of his career, he worked as a claims adjuster for Progressive Insurance before transitioning to work as a controller in the insurance division at a bank. He developed a stronger understanding of insurance and eventually worked as a controller for a biotech company based in Germany. This position required frequent travel to Germany, which exposed Dr. McChristian to international business operations.

Through some position changes within the German company, Dr. McChristian worked as an international general manager before joining the U.S. Department of State. As he describes it, he “latched on” to the position of a foreign service officer. It surprised him, he says.

“I didn’t think I’d be doing this type of work, but learning about world events encouraged me to go on this path,” Dr. McChristian comments.

In his work as a foreign service officer, Dr.McChristian is assigned to U.S. embassies to work with U.S. Ambassadors. In the past, he has been assigned to U.S. embassies in Angola, East Timor, Jamaica, Mali, Spain, Sudan, and Venezuela. In April, he is leaving the United States for a two-year stay in the Democratic Republic of Congo. During these assignments, Dr. McChristian is responsible for overseeing all administrative offices to include human resources, financial services, information technology, facility and building operations, contracting, customs and shipping, and the medical office. Dr. McChristian says he spends 80 percent of his career overseas.

“It’s exciting to visit other countries and meet with their government officials. There is always something new to work on,” Dr. McChristian comments.

The Sycamore credits his education at Indiana State for his exposure to world events and culture. In the Scott College of Business, Dr. McChristian studied financial analysis, claims management, risk modeling, insurance principles, business ethics, and related responsibilities that he frequently applies to his professional work. His experience was enhanced by internships and opportunities in Indiana State’s chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, the international collegiate risk management, insurance, and actuarial science organization.

“Indiana State does an excellent job of exposing students to world events and what they will experience in their careers. I learned social dynamics and how to interact with people. My professors stressed the importance of finding your own path and never to stop seeking new opportunities,” Dr. McChristian says.

Dr. Marcus McChristian, a Black man, wears a black suit jacket and a grey turtleneck sweater underneath the jacket. He poses for a photo.

He notes that he is always proud to say he is an alumnus of Indiana State.

“I meet people from recognizable universities, including Harvard and Yale. I’m proud to say I went to Indiana State in Terre Haute, Indiana. I was just as prepared – and in some ways even more prepared – for my success,” he observes.

Now, Dr. McChristian is returning to his beloved alma mater as the keynote speaker for the Scott College of Business 2024 Diversity in Business Symposium on Monday, February 19 at the Ken and Theresa Smith Magna Carta Courtroom in the Federal Hall building on Indiana State’s campus. The event brings together a diverse group of students and professionals to share business experiences, including opportunities and challenges they have faced in supporting a more inclusive work environment.

Find out more about the 2024 Diversity in Business Symposium.

Dr. McChristian is accustomed to mentoring students. He frequently visits high schools to discuss important life skills. He plans to offer similar advice in his presentation on the importance of adaptability and willingness to change. He says, “Diversity isn’t just about the color of someone’s skin. Diversity is also about ideas and listening to ideas you haven’t heard before. This is how you have good relationships and communicate with others. Listen to those diverse ideas.”

Thanks to the diversity of opportunities available to current Sycamores, their career plans could surprise them – just as Dr. McChristian’s surprised him. With an education from Indiana State, as Dr. McChristian acknowledges, Sycamores are prepared for every opportunity, because unique career preparation begins with BLUE!