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Ask the Global Officer: Caitlin Morelli

Caitlin Morelli is one of President Aoun's Global Officers

Caitlin Morelli, SSH'16, leaves Wednesday for the first of 10 cities that she will visit during the first three months of her tenure as a Global Officer.

 

On Wednesday, Caitlin Morelli, SSH’16, leaves Boston’s Logan Air­port for Chha­tra­pati Shivaji Inter­na­tional Air­port in Mumbai, India—the site of her first stop in her new role as one of Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun’s first two stu­dent ambas­sadors, the Global Offi­cers. The Westch­ester, New York, native will visit 10 cities in six coun­tries during the first three months of the journey, meeting with a range of people who work in the social enter­prise field. Here, she tells us more about how she’s pre­pared for this once-​​in-​​a-​​lifetime opportunity.

What part of the Global Officer expe­ri­ence are you most looking for­ward to?

The thought of all of the new and exciting people I will meet has made me most excited. In my opinion, the best part of trav­eling is making con­nec­tions with new people, even if you only cross paths for a short time. I’ve met some incred­ible people within the social enter­prise field who have been a huge inspi­ra­tion to me, and I know that the inter­ac­tions I will have over the next six months will pro­vide me oppor­tu­ni­ties to keep learning. I’m also incred­ibly eager to try new food! I’ll try almost any­thing put on my plate, and I’ve spent the last few weeks researching new foods and flavors.

What do you expect your first few days to look like?

I chose to start my journey in Mumbai. India has always been at the top of my travel wish list, and I wanted to get far out of my com­fort zone. I’ve never been to a mega-​​city before, so I think the first few days will con­sist of me finding my way around and arranging meet­ings for the week. I’m so thankful that sev­eral North­eastern alumni and stu­dents have already agreed to show me around, so I plan to con­nect with them over the first weekend. My fellow Global Officer Matt Bilotti, DMSB’15, and I have worked hard plan­ning our itin­er­aries and map­ping out our goals, but nei­ther of us knows how things will go once we hit the ground run­ning. I think this first trip will involve a lot of trial and error while we get into the groove of our jobs.

Is there any­thing spe­cial you’re taking with you?

I always travel with choco­late. A great piece of advice I once got about trav­eling is to always have com­fort food on hand for days you might get sick or miss home. For me that’s always choco­late or peanut butter. Not to say I won’t be trying all the food I can get my hands on, it’s just nice to have around. I’m also taking a Canon A-​​1 film camera that my par­ents bought me for Christmas. It weighs a lot, but I’m trying to get better at pho­tog­raphy and want to cap­ture all of the beau­tiful places I will see on film.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

Trav­eling alone will chal­lenge me in new ways. Con­stantly being on the go can be exhausting, and in my expe­ri­ence, it always helps to have friends around to get you through those low points while trav­eling. I’m sure there will be times when I get home­sick or days in which nothing seems to go right, but I also know my friends and family back home are just a video call away—not to men­tion everyone at North­eastern who has been so sup­portive. Luckily, I’ll be meeting North­eastern stu­dents, par­ents, and alumni along the way who have agreed to give me a tem­po­rary home away from home. I don’t think I’ll be lonely with such a great net­work of people.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received while preparing for this experience?

Develop a rou­tine and stick to it.” Whether that’s run­ning every morning, writing in a journal, or taking a few min­utes to reflect on the day, I’ve been told how impor­tant it is to develop small rou­tines that keep you grounded when things get crazy. I’ve told myself I’ll keep a journal, so hope­fully I can keep it up.

The other piece of advice that I loved is to be open-​​minded and present in my inter­ac­tions with new people. You never know what you will learn if you really invest in a con­ver­sa­tion with someone and put aside all the little gad­gets that are con­stant dis­trac­tions. I hope I am able to embody this mindset throughout my trip and make some life­long con­nec­tions along the way.

-By Jordana Torres

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