So the very first time I traveled abroad was actually the spring break of my sophomore year here in college. Through, actually, the Caldwell Fellows Program, we were actually sitting in our sophomore seminar class. We had to do this thing called ‘30 Before You’re 30,’ and we’d write down 30 things we wanted to participate and do before we turn 30. And one of the things I’d written down was an international mission trip.
I went to the Dominican Republic and just fell in love with the culture and just the differences and appreciating the differences in our way of life, but more importantly just seeing the similarities.
I’m Caitlin Lowe, and I’m a senior in agricultural business management as well as plant biology. I’m also minoring in economics.
Next, spring break of my junior year I went back to the Dominican Republic, and that was just really neat to continue building onto the relationships that I’d built the spring break before and see what we had started with the house we were building.
From that, that following summer, just after my sophomore year the Plant Biology Department was traveling to China, and never would I have ever guessed that I would be traveling to China while in college. We did research in a lab at a university in China, and it was really an eye-opening experience because we got to talk about and see things that the normal tourist wouldn’t get to do.
This past summer, I ended up working in Zambia. It was way out of my comfort zone and challenged me day in and day out. It was real interesting because everyone was pretty much subsistence farmers. So I’d never seen that before. I’d heard about it, read about it in a book — but to actually see it. And so every day that’s what they did: Every single person got up and found their food for the day.
I think all these international experiences have continued to shape my career interest. My interest within agricultural economics is the impact of subsidies and tariffs and those policies put in place by the developed countries and how they impact the world price and, therefore, how that impacts a developing country’s ability to bring their produce to market and compete.
Graduate school is next for me in August. I’ll be studying ag econ. I’ve narrowed it down to Kansas State and Purdue. I don’t have an exact career picked out. I suppose I’ll see where life leads and what opportunities open up.