Team GoAbroad is happy to announce our third annual Win the World winner, Emma Neely! As part of the Win the World prize package, Emma will be participating in several meaningful travel programs in South Africa. Keep reading to learn more about what Emma is looking forward to most.
1) How did you feel when you found out you won Win the World South Africa?
When I found out I won the Win the World South Africa contest I almost did not believe it. I was marketing it as a brand ambassador for STA Travel at Michigan State University as an opportunity for students to enter into, and thought why not apply for it myself? As a senior, opportunities for travel might not be so abundant as I graduate and enter the workforce. I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity!
2) How do you feel your experience in South Africa will contribute to your academic experience and/or professional development?
I am hoping by doing the internship in Cape Town and or volunteering in the various projects, it will contribute to my professional development by adding international work experience that will set me apart from the large crowd of job applicants. I have been fortunate enough to already have completed a study abroad program in Sydney, Australia and work abroad in Shanghai, China; however, I lack more extensive significant internship experience. My resume could definitely use this added work experience abroad.
3) What attracts you to South Africa and what are you most looking forward to?
I went on a family vacation to South Africa in which the bulk of our trip was spent on a safari. We spent only a couple days in Cape Town and I thought it was an incredibly gorgeous city with so many great opportunities to offer and places to explore, but 3 days was not enough time to fully live in it. The same goes for South Africa more generally. Although my safari experience was phenomenal, there is so much more to see in the country overall. I’m really just looking forward to seeing more of South Africa!
4) In your opinion, why is meaningful international travel so important?
Meaningful international travel is vital to our generation and the next because of it what it means in the job market.
When I studied and interned abroad in the past, I didn’t just do it because I love traveling (my parents made sure of that!). Study and interning abroad are supposed to fun, yes, but the primary purpose is to enhance your academic experience and/or professional development. The experiences you have abroad, the people you meet, and the interactions with new environments and cultures fundamentally change how you’ll work going forward and give you skills like cross-cultural adaptability. In Sydney, at the University of New South Wales, my purpose was primarily to take classes in my areas of study (Asian Cultures and Politics) that were not offered at Michigan State. Then, I chose an Asian city to intern in (Shanghai) because it was an opportunity to live and work in an area of which I have so closely studied and to explore a career field. Now that I have a better idea of the career field I am interested in, this internship opportunity in Cape Town will definitely be a great way start that career path.
A big congratulations to Emma from the GoAbroad team! We can’t wait to hear more about her experience in South Africa.