During the course of her MIT career, Gabby worked in research and teaching opportunities across the Institute. She had visited and worked in cities around the country but was searching for ways to get more involved with communities abroad. With CassVita, she began to learn about people, business and culture in Cameroon. She was able to assist in the shift of the company from small to large-scale production.
Since CassVita is a young company, Gabby learned the importance of having “all hands on deck” as much as possible. For the first few days, she rotated with her fellow interns through each department in the company to gain exposure to each step of the process. She even had the opportunity to go directly to the farm and the farmers’ cooperative to see stages of the growing process of cassava and the negotiation process between farmers and representatives of CassVita.
In addition to seeing foundational parts of the organization, Gabby was able to meet with experts through the US Embassy and the Institute of Agricultural Research for development (IRAD) where she helped explain and pitch the company’s aims to specialists. This was also a great learning experience in diplomacy and learning to communicate effectively and professionally.
Every step of the way, Gabby was able to make wonderful friends, eat amazing food and see the beautiful landscape of the country. She noticed the similarities and differences of this new place with her own home and upon her return has become even more interested in how these societies have developed. This connected directly to the anthropology classes she’s taken and she was eager to reflect on and discuss these observations. Gabby is proud and excited to have learned more about the world and about herself in Cameroon and hopes to pursue similar opportunities in the future.