Published: Sept. 17, 2014
CESR Student sets off for a summer to support Corporate Social Responsibility

By Kate Harris, CESR Student Assistant

This past summer was nothing short of incredible! From meeting with business executives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to sailing in Lehave, Nova Scotia, and coaching the game I love in Cooperstown, New York and Baltimore, Maryland, each experience taught me new skills and lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Spending only a combined three weeks at home with my family during the extent of my summer was difficult, but I wouldn’t trade these adventures for the world. I know they will only help me to succeed in the upcoming coming years in my education and in my future careers.

Two days after my last final was finished, I was on a plane with my fellow Leeds Scholars traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for First Year Global Experience. Here, we would spend nine days meeting with business representatives from a wide array of businesses and traveling throughout the city performing field research for cross-cultural analyses. We did our best in the short amount of time to gain a new cultural perspective on this South American country. One of my favorite businesses that we met with was Amcham; an organization that dedicates its time to promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) among Argentinian companies. Through training and mentoring programs, Amcham has been successful in making the CSR movement more predominant in Argentina. Outside of business meetings, I enjoyed trying all different types of coffee, pastries, and food, and traveling around Buenos Aires to different markets and historical landmarks. The country is fascinating, and I can’t wait to return one day!

Shortly after returning from Argentina, I was once again on a plane, but this time, traveling to the city of Lehave, Nova Scotia. Here I spent nearly three weeks with my two best friends traveling all over the country. This included sailing. When I was younger, my family spent three weeks sailing in the British Virgin Islands, so I couldn’t have been more excited to have the opportunity to sail once again. The water was freezing and weather was chilly, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying ample time on the boat. We sailed the river surrounding my friend’s cottage before heading out into the ocean. One night, we even raced against experienced sailors. We came in second! Needless to say, even  though it was hard work, I loved every minute of being out on the water. By learning more about Nova Scotia, a province I was previously unfamiliar with, and being fully emerged into the culture and activities of the province, I learned so much about myself. The trip changed my perspective on many things, and I am extremely grateful for my time there.

The rest of my summer away from home was spent on the baseball field coaching women’s baseball. One of the teams I coach is an elite 12-and-under girls baseball team, sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, that participates in an international tournament in Cooperstown, New York. Here, 110 boys teams come to compete each week, and my team is the only all-girls team. This year we finished 32nd out of 110 teams, the best we have ever done! One of my players even won the coveted Home Run Derby Title, out-competing 109 boys from other teams. I truly love the time I spend coaching, and being a positive mentor in these girls’ lives.

I couldn’t have asked for a better summer! The memories made will be carried with me for the rest of my life. I learned so much, and can’t wait to utilize my new skills and knowledge through the upcoming semester and years ahead.