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Morgan Shaner ’16

How does having an internship in Germany while spending the weekends exploring Europe sound?  How about living in Cape Town, South Africa?  Pretty nice, right?  Well, DePauw Sophomore, Morgan Shaner is doing just that.  Originally from New York, Morgan has found her niche at DePauw University.  She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta as well as the prestigious Management Fellows Program.  Morgan has also created her own major entitled, “International Political Economy.” Shaner is currently fulfilling the internship requirement for Management Fellows in Munich, Germany and will spend the following semester studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa.  She may be abroad for work, but Morgan has most definitely found the time to test her adventurous side.

HC: First off, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us about your incredible opportunity and travels.  Can you give us a brief description of your internship in Munich?

Morgan Shaner:  I am currently an intern for Threeview, a marketing agency. I am primarily working with the New Business Development and Client Services teams, doing tasks that range from small research projects to long-term competition analyses.

HC: Wow, what an amazing experience!  What inspired you to want to spend an entire year abroad?

MS:  I never planned on leaving DePauw for a year, and trust me, it was a difficult decision. However, I had always known I wanted to study abroad and my plan was to go to South Africa. Then, I ended up applying to Management Fellows at the end of freshman year and realized I would probably have to go abroad for a year in order to both accomplish my goal of studying abroad in South Africa and satisfy my internship requirement for Management Fellows. When I got the internship in Munich, I decided going abroad for a year was the right decision. DePauw will always be there, but the opportunity I had been presented with was a limited time offer.

HC: That is an excellent point.  These opportunities definitely don’t come around every day.  Since you will be in South Africa next semester, will you come home at all this summer or continue traveling?

MS: I will be back home very briefly in the summer. I was originally going to stay in Europe and continue my travels, but it turns out I will have to go home for a few weeks in order to complete my visa for South Africa. Thankfully I have already had the chance to do a lot of traveling so it will probably be good to go home for a bit and relax.

HC:  What will you study while you are in South Africa?

MS: I am actually even more excited to study in South Africa since I made my own major this past December. I combined courses from the Economics, Political Science, and Anthropology departments to create International Political Economy. My goal is to have a focus on developing countries, so what better place to study than a developing country? I am especially thrilled to hopefully take a Development Economics class at the University of Cape Town because I think it would offer a very interesting perspective.

HC: That is incredible! It sounds like you are very invested in your major as well as the chance to continue traveling.  What fun and/or recreational things have you done in Europe so far?

MS:  Well, every weekend I travel to a different city and that is a whole new adventure everywhere I go. So far, my favorite activity has been paragliding through the Swiss Alps. Like, how cool is that?! I had planned a weekend trip to Switzerland and knew I wanted to go to Zurich and Lucerne, but I had already been to both places so I wanted to go somewhere new! I had heard great things about Interlaken, but did not know much about it at all, but I booked a hostel there anyway. As it turns out it is a ski town famous for outdoor adventure sports, so naturally I had to indulge in the culture! At first I thought about sky diving, but decided I wanted to save that for Cape Town, so I thought paragliding would be just as cool. It totally was! My guide even let me fly the parachute, which was probably a big risk, but totally worth it. Seeing this little tiny town from above was one of the prettiest things I have ever seen (it is sandwiched between two beautiful lakes and a valley of the Alps). Everyone should go! 

HC: Oh my goodness! That is absolutely incredible.  You definitely have an excellent sense of adventure.  I’ll also make sure to add paragliding in the alps to my bucket list.  So, you are in Germany by yourself right now.  Can you explain what it is like living in a foreign country alone?

MS: In short, it is definitely a learning experience. Before I moved here I don’t think I really thought about what I was doing, I just sort of did it. The fact that I was moving to a city 4,000 miles away from home where I knew no one and did not speak the language apparently didn’t faze me. Until I got here. I was suddenly living alone in a six story walk up with no internet and no food. But, I guess I just kind of figured it out! Almost everyone here speaks English and is super outgoing, so meeting people was not a problem. Learning to cook was a slightly more difficult task, but after I realized how much money I was spending eating my meals out, I knew I had to learn. Also, the public transportation here is the best and makes life very convenient. Coming from New York where the trains are usually a disaster, Munich is great. The whole stereotype of German efficiency is not a joke. All in all, I’ve learned the importance of going with the flow and to always take advantage of the opportunities life brings.

HC: That is incredibly inspiring.  It sounds like you have definitely taken advantage of all the opportunities that have been thrown your way.

HerCampus wishes Morgan the best of luck in her internship, studies and travels.  Her story definitely inspires others to take risks and “go with the flow” in return for life long memories and amazing opportunities. 

If you’d like to hear more of Morgan’s adventures, you can read her blog at http://morganshaner.wordpress.com.  

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