Going the distance

It may be hard to feel close to someone who is 8,372 miles away, but junior Henrieta Muradzikwa says that’s exactly what the University of Indianapolis managed to do. The Zimbabwe native says that the personal attention she received from UIndy’s Office of Admissions and the campus community is what drew her to the University.

“I applied to several bigger schools in the United States, but I really liked how the international ambassadors at UIndy’s admissions office kept in touch with me and answered my questions,” says Henrieta. “It really helped to make the whole process more personal.”

Her decision to attend a school so far away from home, and to major in international relations and minor in psychology and French, proved to be one of her best life choices. With the help of friends and professors last summer, she landed an internship at the Sagamore Institute, one of Indiana’s most prestigious think tanks.


Henrieta_Muradzikwa-1025After seeing a poster that mentioned the benefits of a research-based internship with Sagamore, Henrieta contacted a friend who had interned for the institute the previous year and talked to Dr. Milind Thakar, UIndy professor of international relations.

Both of them encouraged her to apply, and she was thrilled when she learned that she had been selected as a summer intern. She gained extensive research experience, working with senior research fellows on such projects as the Indiana re-entry programs for ex-convicts and the economic development in Africa that has emerged from entrepreneurial advances and ties to American universities, companies, and independent bodies. She also assisted in research through the State Archives for the Hoosier Sagamore of the Wabash Award winners and issuers.

The internship also gave her experience in the world of international business and policy. “Economic development has always interested me.” She says. “My older brother is chief economist for the UNICEF base within Zimbabwe, and economics is always a topic at our family’s weekly brunch back home.“What I found most fascinating from my research was how much global economies are tied to each other and we do not even realize it,” she says. “Some universities have programs linked to African businesses and actually generate profit from this.

“I learned that there is a lot of potential for growth all around the world through entrepreneurship. It can explode as soon as more people gain knowledge and learn how to invest to build instead of investing to exploit.”

Totally prepared

Henrieta also gained skills through extracurricular activities that helped her to succeed at her internship. She credits UIndy with teaching her about the importance of developing good teamwork skills in the workplace and how to work with culturally diverse groups. More than 50 countries are represented on UIndy’s campus this year.

“You learn to adapt and be the driving force that keeps the rest of the group moving forward,” she says. “Each intern at Sagamore represented a different culture and brought their own perspective. I did not have difficulty working with anyone because UIndy prepared me for this since my first day as a freshman.”

Henrieta has set her sights on a master’s degree in international relations, possibly in Washington, D.C. She then hopes to work for the United Nations or as a foreign services officer for an NGO or embassy.

“UIndy has certainly prepared me and given me many tools to reach my goals,” she explains. “We are a very diverse campus, and that exposes you to all types of people in the world. If there is one thing this school has taught me, it’s that great things are achieved with patience and hard work. Your sweat and effort will never go unnoticed.”

By Claire Gallman ’17