Cultivating a World View
Born and raised in Guatemala, Marcela Morales ’16 came to the United States when she was 10 years old, and the urge to see more of the world has never left her. A double major in economics and international studies, with a concentration in global business, she spent a semester studying in Finland “because it was different.”
“I got to know a very different part of the world, and being immersed in a culture that not many other people know about was pretty cool,” she says. A peer mentor leader, member of Enactus, and secretary of the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows, Morales still manages to find ways to explore and study beyond the campus. A Cater grant funded her trip last summer to the rainforest in Ecuador where she studied the indigenous culture of the Kichwa; on a side trip to Costa Rica, she researched a local water filtration project.
The Cater Society also funded her most recent summer internship at the International Institute of St. Louis, a refugee organization in Missouri that is part of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Working in the employment department, she helped refugees conduct job searches and learned how the institute teaches new arrivals about financial planning and budgeting.
“I took a class last semester about refugees and what people in war-torn countries go through. I met with a lot of Congolese clients this summer, and I had studied that conflict, so it was really amazing,” she says. She plans to apply for a position at the institute after graduation as a way to embark on an international career.
“I want to continue to work internationally,” she says. “Through all of my experiences, I’ve become culturally sensitive to other people and their backgrounds, and I think that gives me a skill set that’s needed in the business world.”