Alexandra Hart

Alexandra Hart and four others pose for a group photo in South Africa

Major and minor:
Major in International Business and minor in Spanish.

Campus activities:
iCats, Beta Gamma Sigma honors fraternity, Chi Omega social sorority, Project HEAL.

Graduation year:
2019.

Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Faculty-led program in Cape Town, South Africa.

Describe your study abroad location for someone who has never been there.
Cape Town is a large city on the southern tip of South Africa, therefore it is on the water and has a large harbor for imports and exports. It is also home to a beautiful mountain range, including Table Mountain. It is a very modern city and would remind someone from the US of the west coast.

Why did you choose your program?
I chose this program because it seemed to combine my passion for business with my passion for service. I was able to act as a consultant for a small business owner from a township within Cape Town. I had also never been to Africa, so I chose this program because I had heard so many wonderful things about the continent as a whole that I wanted to see it for myself.

What's your favorite memory from your time abroad?
My favorite memory from my time abroad is when we surprised our entrepreneurs with the collateral material we brought for them. They weren't expecting us to bring them anything to help them with their business, so when we gave them business cards, and signs, they were very grateful and even sang for us.

What did you learn from interacting with locals?
The locals were all such kind people. Whether it was the people at our mission house, or those we were helping in the community, everyone was so grateful, as were we. I definitely learned not to take anything for granted, and to be happy with what you have because you can always make the most of it. This experience has definitely changed my outlook on life.

How has study abroad influenced your career path?
Before this program, I thought I knew what I wanted to do in my life. I thought I wanted to work at a large corporation and just blend in with all the other employees. After this experience, and after acting as a consultant for an entrepreneur, I have learned that I want to go into consulting. Throughout my interactions with my small business owner, I got to see how much he learned by us explaining things to him. I also enjoyed learning a lot about the industry he was in. I realized that in consulting, I could be working on very different things all the time, and I could help a business owner develop their passions.

What accomplishment during your time abroad are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the work we did with our entrepreneur, and being able to connect what we'd been working on all semester in class with what we were trying to teach abroad.