"Volunteering is a win-win situation."

Alumni Spotlight

When he was studying international business and cultures at Tech, Zach Withers, ’11, studied abroad several times. He spent a year at the University of Munich, in Germany, a semester working at the U.S. embassy in Vienna, Austria, and another semester in South Korea. He’s been to more than 35 countries so far.

One of his proudest accomplishments is his work starting Kosmos Solutions, a charity that coordinates and creates sustainable volunteer programs in a Kenyan slum, in 2009. He got the idea when he spent two weeks volunteering in Kenya. During his stay, he and his host decided to do something together.

“Volunteering is a win-win situation,” Zach said. “One thing that we really stress is that you’re a volunteer, it’s not that you’re better than the people there, it’s that you have different skills. Volunteering is a collaboration between the volunteers and those they work with - it's an exchange.”

Though he recently returned to the United States after seven years of traveling, Zach still handles the business side of Kosmos Solutions and grapples daily with a nine-hour time difference.

“It all began at Tennessee Tech," he said. "The opportunities the business program gave me opened the door to international experiences and exposed me to diversity that I will value throughout my life and career."