The following three documents are the tour concepts for students within the medical, environmental, and business fields that I helped research and create with the CEO of Southern Ambition Africa . These documents are the copy I created to give to clients to inform them about the details of the tours.
This is the remodeled brochure I created content for during my internship with Southern Ambition Africa promoting our company's various tour packages.
This is a piece of creative writing I did for my internship with Southern Ambition Africa. My goal for this piece was to reflect on my experience with the company while promoting their services and expressing their brand image.
Revisiting My Roots
At the end of January, 2015, I touched down in Cape Town. I had no idea what the Mother City had in store for me but I was ready to explore and adventure my way through the next semester. Little did I know, that semester would transform into the best six months of my life.
My friends and I knew the first trip we wanted to take was a Garden Route- a tour we had heard about from past abroad students in Cape Town which takes you down the southern coast of Africa. On our walk home from grocery shopping one day, we came across an office with a giant display in the window advertising trips to places like Mozambique and Botswana and excursions like shark cage diving and sky diving. We wandered into the office to ask if the company led Garden Routes and after ten minutes, we were practically peeing ourselves with excitement.
Weronika, one of the Southern Ambition employees, began explaining the trip itinerary in, to our surprise, an American accent. When you first arrive as an abroad student, you feel like a lost puppy in a new world. All of a sudden, you’re an outsider in a place that is supposed to be your home. It’s a pretty uncomfortable feeling to experience, which is why finding another person from our country, living and working abroad, like a regular Capetonian, was such a comforting and exciting discovery.
Weronika explained to us that she was from New York and had studied abroad, like we were at the time, at the University of Cape Town during her junior year of university. Following her senior year, she came back to Cape Town to work for Southern Ambition. As she described the Garden Route itinerary to us, I remember being jealous of how awesome everything about her job sounded.
Weronika told us that on the Garden Route we would have the opportunity to ride elephants and ostriches, bungee jump off the highest commercial bungee jump in the world, pet cheetahs, play with lemurs, hike in Tsitsikamma National Park and go wine tasting. It was basically a four day trip knocking off things on our abroad bucket list, we were hooked.
After booking and paying for our trip, all we needed to worry about was waking up on time with packed bags for our curbside pick up. That first morning, we dragged our feet to our gate, bed head, eye boogers and all, to greet our tour leader, Moses. Our particularly drab appearance was immediately contrasted by Moses’ bright and cheerful demeanor as he helped load our things into the bus and passed out snacks and drinks to everyone.
As we found out later in the trip, Moses is the owner of Southern Ambition. I think the relationship my friends and I formed with him over the next four days is a perfect reflection of how Southern Ambition interacts with all of its clients.
From the start of the trip, Moses was more of a travel savvy friend than a tour guide. We learned about him and his family in Uganda and he learned about our backgrounds, our taste in American music and our terrible vocal cords. We had an amazing trip. Moses took care of all of the logistics and kept us on schedule while we took care of tackling our bucket list.
Afterwards, my friends and I became loyal customers and friends to Moses. We decided we only wanted to use Southern Ambition for the remainder of our trips because we saw the company as an office of people that we could relate to and were comfortable with. Throughout the semester, my friends and I looked at Southern Ambition as a place where we could hang out and eat our lunch between classes or just drop by to ask questions about what was good to do on the weekend.
It’s no surprise that my friends and I decided to do our mid-semester break trip through Southern Ambition. We chose to go on the Mozambique, Swaziland, Kruger trip. Our tour guide for this trip was Weronika. Weronika instantly became friends with everyone in our group and led the rambunctious collection of 18 Americans through three different countries for ten incredible days, filled with village beaches, safaris and interactions with local cultures.
In addition to seeing the Big Five, accomplishing our first real food fight, tasting the delicious seafood cuisine of a Mozambican village and playing with Star Fish on Panzi Island, my friends and I came away with yet another friend from Southern Ambition.
As my semester at the University of Cape Town began to wind down, the idea of leaving the city that I had come to adoringly call home, was not a welcome one. I decided to beg my parents to let me extend my time in Cape Town until the end of the summer. My parents agreed under the condition that I found an internship to build up my resume. Consequently, I decided to apply for an internship with Southern Ambition and was lucky enough to be hired for my summer (their winter) term.
As a 21 year old going into my last year of university, my future after school is a very daunting concept. I have obsessed over the idea of college since the age of 12, taking my first college tour in seventh grade and viewing my academic and social life as a build up to the “best four years of my life.”
Every one of the last three years has fulfilled and exceeded my expectations for university with one exception. I was hoping that my studies would help me discover my dream job, something that I get excited to wake up for every morning. Yet, after three years of classes ranging from zoology to film to modern dance, I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. You can imagine the anxiety experienced when I think about leaving this incredible chapter of my life in such a short period of time.
When I came to work for Southern Ambition, I had no idea that interning for this company would give me something I had never in my life received from a job up to this point- peace of mind about my future. I have never entertained the idea of working in tourism or taken classes targeted at this field of work.
However, during my first week at Southern Ambition, I found myself getting excited to come to work every day and the hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. passing by in what seemed like minutes. What’s more, I liked the work I was doing, enjoyed getting responsibility over tasks, and loved the idea of learning more and receiving bigger projects to tackle.
All of a sudden I went from being terrified of leaving college, to wishing I could extend my internship for another year and continue to work in Cape Town instead of going back to school for my senior year. Pags, Jackie and Weronika, three of my co-workers, were in the same position I was soon to be in, recently graduated from college and learning to navigate the world as working adults.
Pags majored in film and media, Jackie in public health, and Weronika in international relations, none of them were doing exactly what they studied to do. However, I observed something about them my first week that will stick with me for the remainder of my working life. Every single one of them treated their job like it was more than a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that they clocked in and out of each day. They were passionate and truly cared about the company, its employees and its clients. Consequently, they were damn good at their jobs.
The energy my coworkers put into this company made it clear to me for the first time that passion, above all else, is the most important tool to finding a job that I love. I realized it doesn’t matter if I’m doing a job related to my major or if I don’t have an idea of what the next ten years of my work life is going to look like, as long as I fully invest myself in what I’m doing, things are going to be okay.
This is the first job I have had that I genuinely enjoy because I care about it as more than a source of income. I care about the people I work with, the clients I interact with and the well-being of the business as a whole. It’s exciting and fulfilling to feel like you have the power and ability to make a difference in a business and in the life of its clients.
It is with every bit of reluctance that I part ways with Southern Ambition at the end of this month to go back to the States. I could not be more thankful for the experience I have had with this company. I can now go into my senior year of college excited for all the possibilities that lie ahead of me when I graduate instead of being scared shitless of the end of my academic career.
Southern Ambition has given me the gift of acceptance of my transition into adulthood and as one of my good friends said, “It’s scary and great and guys, I just want my mom.”