Claire Goes To Thailand & Talks the Importance of Group Dynamics

Over spring break, I was lucky enough to have been chosen to attend a free trip to Thailand to explore social impact in different business sectors. It was my first trip to Asia, full of inspiring meetings, incredible food, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like bathing with elephants. But when people ask me what my favorite part of the trip was, I always surprise them.


“The group.”


I don’t mean it in a corny way at all — my favorite part of the trip genuinely was the company I got to travel with, consisting of both students, faculty, and ICS leaders. Never have I been on a trip in such close quarters with others and still miraculously get along. One reason we all worked so well together was what Cindy Martinez, the assistant dean of student affairs, told us during our first preliminary meeting. She made it clear that we were a “good vibes only” group. Not only do I think that resonated well with the group, but that set the tone and expectation that we were to live by. Additionally, although we all have different personalities, we were all willing to apply for a spring break trip we frankly knew little about, but we were motivated by our passion for social impact. We were united by our common decision to embark on the unknown for the good of others which established a sense of community from day one. Whenever a member of our group decided to check out an area of town on our free time or grab a bite to eat, we always posted in our group. Nobody was left out — that’s not what social changers do.


Even now that we’re back, we still foster a strong sense of community. Although we may have reverted back to some old tendencies, we are all so genuinely excited when we see each other around campus, and still message frequently in our group chat. The relationships I made while in Thailand weren’t situational — we were all lucky enough to be able to create lifelong friendships united by social impact.


Claire Porter