Engaging In My Trip to Kenya

On March 17, 2011, in Diversity, by Jeremy C Wilson

It costs a lot of time and money to go on Kellogg’s Global Immersion in Management (GIM) trip.  You forego taking another class in the winter quarter. You pay a lot of money out of pocket. And you do classwork during spring break, while your friends are having a blast in various locations around the world. But other than having a blast with your fellow classmates in a new country, does it make sense to go on GIM?

Well, this was the question on a lot of people’s minds all throughout the winter quarter. Every year, second years talk about how great GIM is. Then, first years bid almost all their points into the class excited, but then recruiting and other substantive classes start to take up a lot of time, and so people question whether GIM is actually worth it.  Did I make the right decision? Could I have gotten a better deal financially on my own vacation (the answer is often yes)? Should I have done something different?

Fortunately, people in GIM Kenya (Kellogg’s Global Health Initiative) thought about this question a lot less than some of the other trips did. That’s because this is the single GIM trip that’s rooted in public interest and international development. Nonetheless, the question has even come up in at least a couple of cases.

As I ponder this question personally, I can’t help back to some of my favorite student experiences and ask myself, “Do you remember the presentations from the professor?”  “Do you remember the most salient parts of the lectures?” “Do you even remember the name of the textbook you read?” For a lot of the classes, the answer is no.

On the other hand, I know exactly what I do remember from my favorite experiences: the engaged conversations I had after classes. Helping a friend work on a problem that they found critically important.  The practical discussions about what people are working on, and the philosophical discussions about how people want to change the world.

Fortunately, I also get to engage in these topics for GIM, especially with GIM Kenya.  With GIM Kenya I get to:

Engage in a public interest topic (HIV/Aids project in Kenya)

Engage in a mission critical issue, not just related to the US but also to those abroad.

Engage in travel to somewhere I might not go on my own.

And engage with a diverse set of like-minded classmates who are also passionate about public service and about changing the world (stay tuned to hear more about my classmates on the trip)

In the end, engaging is the most critical issue.

When is the last time you engaged? It’s never too late to start.


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