A Sustainability Mindset: Student Josephine Gravatt

Born and raised in New York, Josephine Gravatt is pursuing a B.A. in International Business with minors in Communications and Entrepreneurship. In Fall 2022, Josephine won the Triggering Change Competition with her pitch “Triggering Change for the Computer Crisis.”

Josephine Gravatt

Josephine Gravatt

What brought you to JCU?
I always knew that I wanted to study abroad. So, I typed in English-speaking universities abroad and John Cabot popped up. Rome and Italy in general had always been on my bucket list for places I wanted to visit, and JCU seemed like a good place to transition to life on my own. I also really liked the courses offered and the visual appeal of JCU, so in December 2021 I moved here.

Tell us about your award-winning pitch “Triggering Change for the Computer Crisis.”
I heard about the Triggering Change Competition last semester in one of my favorite classes, Business Communications with Professor Michèle Favorite. For the class, students had to enter this competition and create a short but exciting pitch that focused on some form of environmental sustainability. I picked my topic because I knew that I could break it down and make a very concise and understandable presentation. I had a lot of fun with it and was really surprised when I won.

You’re majoring in International Business with minors in Communications and Entrepreneurship. What made you decide to combine these disciplines?
I have changed a few different majors and interests since starting at JCU. I started with a major in International Affairs, thinking that I wanted to work in an international setting, doing something with activism or policy work. However, once I started taking the classes for it, I realized that it might not be for me. I then switched to Communications but felt that it wasn’t as applicable to what I wanted to do in the future. I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial, so this is when I decided on my current major which is International Business with minors in Communications and Social Innovation Entrepreneurship.

How did you become interested in sustainability and social innovation?
I have always been in a sustainability mindset. My parents and sister are very environmentally conscious and growing up, the environment was always something that was on my mind. I try to conduct my own life in the most sustainable way.

What are your plans for the future?
To be honest I don’t know. I have never been on one straight path, and I have always changed my interests and changed what I wanted to do. I know that I want to open my own business and curate my own space. I am very interested in fine arts and how that intersects with hospitality to create open-form spaces. Hopefully my entrepreneurship minor will help with that.

What advice would you give to someone who is undecided about studying abroad?
My advice is to just rip off the band-aid and go. You can’t stay within your comfort zone for the rest of your life, and I am thankful for how much I have changed and the growth that I have experienced since coming abroad. I know that no matter what, going to university is a very formative experience. However, I would not have gained this global perspective and met as many people with completely different backgrounds from me if I had not come abroad. It has really shaped the way I live my life.