Monica MacNeil, a student in the Bachelor of Applied Business – International Commerce and Global Development program, is passionate about all things international. With graduation only a few weeks away, she is excited to start her next adventure.
In 2011, MacNeil’s interest in international development and project management lead her to enrol at NC in the degree program, which combines theory and practice through study abroad and international co-op experiences.
“I love that my program had a co-op to balance my studies with the international opportunities I think are necessary to compete in a shrinking global economy,” she said. “I got to meet with like-minded people who are passionate about business and work in the industry, especially though my time volunteering with the International Club.”
For two months, MacNeil touched the lives of an entire community through her co-op at coffee cooperative La Esperanza in the Dominican Republic. La Esperanza is a long-standing community partner with NC and supplies fair-trade coffee to NC’s Bench-To-Go. She also spent a semester of her third year studying international business at the Universidad Espiritu Santo (UEES) in Ecuador, and this year has worked with the International Partnerships team on portfolio development.
Dawit Eshetu, Niagara College professor and co-ordinator of the Bachelor of Applied Business – International Commerce and Global Development program and the International Business Management Post-Graduate program, encourages his students to partake in study and work abroad opportunities offered through Be World Ready, the College’s internationalization program.
“When students come back from a study exchange or international co-op, you can see the effect it has on their personal growth, academic development and career orientation,” he said. “The beauty is, they typically still have one to two years to spend at NC, and you see that before and after their co-op, their learning experience is so much different.”
MacNeil recently received a College Student Alliance scholarship to recognize her work on and off campus as a student leader, and her volunteer work through World Vision, all while maintaining academic excellence. She is currently celebrating her pending graduation on a once in a lifetime trip to India. “A lot of our studies centred around India because it’s such an emerging economy. It’s a place I have always been interested in, so I thought I would take this opportunity as a graduation gift to myself and go explore.”
For more information on how students can study, work and volunteer abroad, visit www.beworldready.ca.
Pictured above: Monica MacNeil accepts a scholarship award from College Student Alliance southwest director, Jeff Scherer.