For someone only at the dawn of her career, Bailey Mack has already traveled the path of many a professional’s dreams. Currently a 2016 Alltech Career Development Program member, selected as one of 11 from more than 2,000 global applicants, Mack is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has traveled the world, spending at least a month each in Taiwan, China, Indonesia and Peru.
Growing up, the Louisville, Kentucky-native and her family were active in scouting, which led to a love for all things outdoors and a particular passion for environmental and sustainability issues. She received her Girl Scout Gold Award for rehabilitating a pond at a state park in Kentucky.
“When I started to learn Chinese, I tied my background in environmental issues into it,” she said.
This led to Mack’s first application for a Fulbright research grant. She was named a semifinalist at the time.
After a second attempt for a Fulbright grant to India for an English Teaching Assistantship, Mack discovered that her third attempt, this time for Malaysia, would prove to be a charm. Recently, she was named one of 90 Fulbright grant recipients for Malaysia, where she will live and work as an English teaching assistant next year.
“My application centered around and was interested in looking at the environmental issues faced by countries and markets that want to evolve and become more economically developed,” said Mack. “They are facing a lot of pressure from other countries that want them to evolve in a sustainable manner. In Malaysia specifically, rainforest preservation and palm oil are really hot topics.”
Where exactly Mack will be located in Malaysia is yet to be determined and will depend on the needs in the school system. In addition to teaching English, Mack will serve as an ambassador of the U.S.
“They want you to do things like run afterschool clubs, whether badminton or helping set up English clubs,” said Mack.
She is also looking forward to integrating her environmental and sustainability interests into conversations and learning more from her Malaysian neighbors.
“My perspective is someone coming from the U.S. and is totally different from someone who is actually living there and understands how it is going to affect them and change certain things.”
Following her time in Malaysia, Mack plans to return to Alltech with a desire for more adventure and opportunity.
“I just see this as a natural continuation of what I’ve been doing for so long,” said Mack.
Considering the list of Fulbright alumni, it is quite a promising path for her. Mack joins an elite group; Fulbright recipients have gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes (82 recipients) and Nobel Prizes (54 recipients), take on roles as heads of state (33), and become members of the U.S. Congress (10) and the U.N. (one secretary general).