Luke Ringland joins us as Social Media and Marketing Intern

LukeRinglandBioPicAfter seven years in the professional workforce, things have come full circle. I’m an intern again.

Why am I here? My chosen career path had been underwhelming me. I just did not feel like the day to day aspects of corporate social responsibility consulting fit my personal working style; I needed to try something new.

I have a flare for distilling and synthesizing information and I love working to deadlines. Writing is a passion and I am never short of an opinion, thus pointing me inextricably in the direction of marketing and communications. But this was just the first question. When it comes to my career, the “who” has always been just as important as the “what”.

Fair trade and Ten Thousand Villages are doing great things for people all over the world. There is something particularly special about helping people earn a living. Making sure a skilled artisan in a developing country gets treated fairly for making things people want isn’t “charity”; the way I see it, this is really just an example of things working as they should.

A bit more about me – to say that I am a global nomad is somewhat of an understatement. I did not set foot outside Australia until the age of 22 but as a child spent countless hours pouring over atlases and planning my future journeys, of which there have now been many. Alas, I would not recommend taking me on at geography trivia unless you are some kind of savant on African capital cities, a notable weak point of mine.

I am a 30 year old Australian and have been living in Austin for a year. My American destiny was somewhat predetermined in 2011 when I met my now wife, an Atlanta, Georgia native, in Melbourne, Australia. Despite a brief 18 month interlude traveling Latin America together – as you do – a stint living in the United States was always on the cards. And so for her, it was to be a PHD in social work at UT, and for me, well, it is fair to say that I have not yet found my Texan feet. But I am sure this is about to change, even if Austin is to Texas what butter chicken is to curry: a mild, atypical, but nevertheless delicious version of.

But my passion for all things worldly has not changed. Ten Thousand Villages has given me the opportunity to put my talents to use helping people from around the globe. I guess I just can’t help myself: once a world traveler, always a world traveler. And to think that a customer need only come into the shop and buy something global, and they will be doing the same thing! Over the next three or so months I hope to introduce more people to this exciting possibility through my work as social media and marketing intern.