Danielle Shellgren

Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
Home Institution: 
Washington & Jefferson College
Heinz Programming Area: 
Arts & Culture
Study Abroad Country: 
New Zealand
International Experience

Vira I. Heinz Scholarship recipient Danielle Shellgren spent six weeks in New Zealand studying tourism, marketing, and communications.  Danielle began her program in Christchurch before traveling to St. Arnaud, Auckland, Gisborne, Rotorua, and Tongariro National Park during her first two weeks abroad.  In each city she visited, Danielle met with various marketing and public relations professionals within the tourism industry at companies such as Te Puia Maori cultural experience and Maori school, Tourism New Zealand, Christchurch Canterbury Tourism, and Weta Workshop.  After the expedition across New Zealand's north and south islands, Danielle lived in Wellington for four weeks where she served as a communications and marketing intern for Dwell Housing Trust.  Dwell is a non-profit organization that works to provide safe, affordable housing for individuals in need.  During her time at Dwell, Danielle worked on a variety of challenging and exciting projects including writing web content, designing social media posts, developing Dwell's values and mission statement, and adjusting their communications plan.  Interning at Dwell helped Danielle to gain valuable experience working in communications and marketing while learning about New Zealand's current housing crisis and homelessness epidemic.  As Danielle engaged with her internship hosts and professors, she noticed that many Kiwis have a significantly more self-starting attitude than many Americans, encouraging Danielle to develop her creative thinking skills and take initiative rather than asking for direction.  During her free time in New Zealand Danielle explored Wellington's surrounding beaches, rode the Wellington Cable Car up to the Botanic Gardens, swam in a natural hot pool, visited several art galleries and museums, and attended a rugby game.  Danielle especially enjoyed learning about Maori history and culture, and the ways in which Maori symbols, language, and beliefs are incorporated into the broader Kiwi culture.  Ultimately, Danielle returned to the United States with a wealth of knowledge in the field of marketing and communications, as well as a readiness to apply what she learned to her projects in a creative manner.

© Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership, All Rights Reserved.