Independent Minds, Working Together
Samantha McNelly

Samantha McNelly '14

Major: Economics (Minor: Political Science)

SIT Nairobi, Kenya: Health and Community Development (Fall 2012)

Global Social Entrepreneurship (GSE) Program, Bangalore, India (Summer 2012)

As someone interested in studying international economic development, I elected to participate in both a Wooster in… Program (GSE in Bangalore, India) and a traditional semester abroad (SIT in Nairobi, Kenya).  Both programs spoke to my interest in development, but in very different and complementary ways.  GSE allowed me to explore what it was like working in a non-profit space in a developing country.  My experience in Kenya forced me to take a step back and look at causal factors for poverty and underdevelopment.  Combined, both experiences affirmed my commitment to pursuing a career in development, and while I learned an immense amount, I also realized that I still have so much to learn and appreciate about this world before I can contribute to it in a meaningful way.  This realization led me back to West Bengal, India to pursue an APEX Fellowship in the summer of 2013 at an economic development non-profit organization.  My off-campus study experiences have undoubtedly defined my experience at Wooster and have given greater meaning to the classes and activities I participate in.