Alumni Stories

Grace Trammell (Bolivia, 2011 & Kenya, 2012)

This month we caught up with Grace Trammell who is graduating in May from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin with a major in finance and a minor in accounting. Read on to learn more about Grace…

Follow Grace on Instagram @gracetrammell

What are you up to now?

After graduation, I will be working for J.P. Morgan within the Corporate Client Banking division. Since I don’t begin working until late June, I am hoping to plan a few trips between graduation and when I move to Houston to begin work full-time. I studied abroad in Paris, so I would love to go back to France, but also have always wanted to explore Thailand and Cambodia.

How did your SStS experience impact your future?

From an outside perspective, my finance major might appear not to be directly inspired by my work with SStS. However, my time spent in Bolivia and Kenya strongly impacted the direction I decided to take in college. My SStS courses taught me a remarkable amount about not only the world around me but also myself. I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to have an impact and be part of something that is larger than myself. My job with J.P. Morgan requires solutions, outside-the-box thinking, and team work. McCombs has provided me with a foundation that will help me be an ethical leader and find value-additive solutions for our communities. When I entered college, I was passionate about finding a major that would allow me to combine practicality with the desire to make a long-term impact as a global citizen. Finance has allowed me to just that, and I have SStS to thank for helping guide me to a path where I can help shape and inspire ethical leadership going forward.

What is your favorite memory from your SStS experience?

Although I loved exploring La Paz and working with the Rio Beni Health Foundation, the experience of traveling by river to deliver the water filters and living with a local community for a few days was the highlight of my trip to Bolivia. Stepping off of my little river boat into the small village in the middle of the rain forest, I was greeted by the sweet smell of grapefruit and the sound of children laughing. The next few days were such a large step out of my comfort zone but in the best way possible. Our main initiative was to deliver access to clean drinking water, but our days spent in the village were full of conversations, smiles, spontaneous soccer games, and local traditions. Although my knowledge of Spanish was limited, I was able to talk with my host mother about her childhood and her hopes for her children. I cannot think of a more appropriate name for this organization than “Shoulder to Shoulder” because each hour of my day was literally spent talking, working, and walking shoulder to shoulder with the most inspiring people. Although I am uncertain if I will ever be able to return to this village, I am content knowing the water filters we placed in their homes will be there for years to come.