My cultural journey began in Atlanta, GA where I grew up. Although, I grew up in this city for all of my childhood before moving on to South Florida for undergraduate degree at Lynn University. I also have grown to have an international perspective on most topics. This is because I attended an international school during throughout all of high school. Here, I was surrounded by an abundance of students who were from a different country or at least lived in one before coming here. It was the best environment for me as I now have friends in several countries that I can visit whenever I want.
I would say that because I attended an international school, it has attributed to my never-ending curiosity to travel to unique places throughout the world. Two of the most impactful excursions I took included a trip to to Thailand to visit one of my classmates family in Bangkok. I learned many cultural attributes firsthand by staying with a family versus in a hotel and experienced amazing Thai food from the house.
The 2nd trip that I always look back on is my semester abroad in Australia. This was a unique experience in the sense that it challenged me to go outside of my comfort zone as I would be both studying as well as living in a different landscape for 6 months. The challenge was worth it as it allowed me to discover such a vast and animal-filled landscape. The most interesting part of my term abroad was the two weeks. I arrived in Cairns for an introductory week at the Great Barrier Reef region in the tropical northeast of the country. It was supposed to be a week of introductions with the other study abroad students and learning cultural norms of Australia. However, things were quickly halted as Cairns was about to be the epicenter of Tropical Cyclone Yasi. This cyclone was about equivalent of a category 4-5 hurricane barreling in a westerly direction. The airport was closed and we were forced to go via bus all the way to Rockhampton, a regional town in Queensland some 16 hours south. The news from the radio was grim and there was a constant white-noise of winds to listen as a soundtrack. Thankfully, we made it to a motor-lodge in Rocky as the locals refer to it. We beat out the Cyclone that ultimately did not cause casualties.
Both of these experiences have inspired me to pursue a career in both marketing and/or the tourism fields, or ideally both. For me it is the best way to articulate experiences of trips to different destinations throughout the world.
Currently I am in my last-term of my master’s program at University of Houston’s Conrad Hilton College. There, I am also writing my professional paper on how Mobile-Commerce is impacting the airline and aviation industry.
What I hope to gain out of this experience at the Refuge Group is more practical experience with marketing tools and becoming more comftorbale using all Social Media Platforms. These channels are becoming more crucial for businesses to gain an audience than ever before. I also would like to apply some key skills such as brand activation, brand marketing, global brand strategy and other related skills needed in this vastly competitive job market.
After I finish my master’s degree I hope to continue my career with a tourism related marketing organization such as Expedia or in a Corporate Travel Management role with a company such as Coca-Cola.