If you’ve read my earlier blogs, you’ll know that in addition to taking classes, I’m also doing an internship for course credit. I haven’t shared much about what I’m working on, so the purpose of this blog post is to change that!
Atma – Immersive Journeys is a not for profit, specializing in small group tours. The organization is rather unique in that they run a special type of tour, based on the ideas behind ecotourism.
Many people travel to achieve eye-opening experiences and personal growth, but we often forget that travel also has a profound effect on the communities, economies, and environments which we visit. In some instances, excessive tourism has completely changed cultures and abolished past lifestyles and traditions.
Atma only runs a tour if it has a positive impact on the community and the environment as a whole. They are interested in providing real, authentic experiences to travelers while supporting the local community.
I’m working directly with Alex Carpenter, the founder of Atma. We meet on a weekly basis for a cup of coffee, and we discuss progress and future plans. Outside of that, I’m working from home, the state library, or anywhere in Sydney with free WiFi.
What Atma needs most is to grow its network. There are so many travelers in the world who are simply unaware of the need for responsible travel. We’re trying to spread the word and educate as many people as we can reach. Since this is a very broad task, I have had a wide range of responsibilities. This has helped me to understand a new side of business. I’m almost approaching my work from a marketing perspective, which is something a finance major such as myself doesn’t get much practice with in the classroom.
Prior to starting my internship, I was fairly ignorant of the negative effects of tourism. Travel has always been part of my future plans, and it unnerved me to learn about the consequences of an industry I may unknowingly have supported.
One of the most important things I’ve learned from this experience is that work is a lot easier, and more rewarding, when you’re doing something you care about. Through working with Alex, I’ve seen how passionate he is about the company and its potential for good. His attitude is inspiring and motivating, and I can’t wait to see Atma flourish and bring about change in the years to come.