My New York adventure

Hi, my name is Nathalie and this will be my first blog post on here. I will write about my big adventure I was able to do earlier this summer, thanks to Go Make It Happen.

I have very recently finished my undergraduate degree in Tourism Management at Bournemouth University. Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with cancer and had to take over a year out for treatments etc. Despite this I did decide to return to university and although it has taken me longer than I intended to, I am immensely proud to have had the strength to go back. I have a great interest in the tourism industry, but with a particular passion for disaster management. For those unfamiliar with this concept, disaster management is essentially the management of responsibilities and resources to lessen the impact of disasters. So when I retuned to uni I was dedicated to work towards getting a foot in this particular field. As a result, I was accepted on to an international diploma course in Humanitarian Assistance at Fordham University, New York. The course was run by the Centre for International Humanitarian Cooperation.

It was a four week long and very intensive course, and one of the best experiences of my life. Being in New York for four weeks alone was incredible, but the knowledge I gained, the people I met and the confidence boost it gave me was invaluable. Our tutors were all very experienced from the field and we had many guest lectures from organisations such as the UN and various NGO’s. My fellow students also came from all over the world with individual knowledge and experience from the field. I was surrounded by so many inspiring people and the experience I gained by just being in this environment will stay with me for a very long time.

Although it was really hard work, I enjoyed every minute of it and it has made me even more determined than before that this is the field I want to work within. It may sound very far off from tourism, but I believe it is a field which the tourism industry should have closer relationships with. As tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries, it has a significant power to influence a range of stakeholders. For my final paper of the course I did write about this and the importance for the tourism industry to acknowledge the implications of humanitarian and environmental disasters on the industry.

Due to my medical condition, I was unable to work alongside my studies in my final year. Therefore the contribution I was very kindly given from GMIH made it possible for me to attend this course. So I want to give a great thank you to GMIH for making it possible. And to anyone struggling: Go Make It Happen, nothing is impossible as long as you have the drive.

Nathalie xx