Staff Spotlight: Alice Hawkes

Director of Marketing


A keen traveler, passionate about international education and volunteering within the world of conservation and community development, with experience in social enterprises and start ups.

What is your favorite travel memory?

There are so many! Recently, I was lucky enough to see a leopard whilst on safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa. I've lived in Cape Town for almost 3 years, and have been on multiple safaris in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, but I have never had the opportunity to see a leopard in the wild, and to say that I have seen "The Big 5"! To top it off, I had four friends visiting me over the Christmas period, who also got to witness this sighting. This was also that drive that we saw all Big 5!

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

I'm not sure if it's underrated, but I definitely feel that Namibia is a destination that a lot of people know little about, and don't think about visiting. In 2013 I did a two week road trip through Namibia with four colleagues, and it has to be one of my top trips to date. We rented a 4x4, and we slept in tents that were secured to the top of the vehicle, and we just drove wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted. When we were driving, we often didn't see another person for hours, and it was just amazing to feel like you were experiencing something that few others are. Personally, I also loved being without a phone and WiFi for the entire two weeks - I still feel this is really the only way to properly relax and switch off from the high paced lives most people live.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think that the organizational culture plays a huge role in an organizations success. It's hugely important that staff look forward to going to work each day, feel like they are being heard and go home pleased that they have made a difference. GVI's values are core to us as an organization, and we hire and make decisions based on them which ensures that we have an awesome working environment. On top of this, we even have a snack bar, a table tennis table, and hammocks in our office!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have grown and learnt huge amounts with GVI. Almost 4 years ago I joined the GVI Family as an intern in the Cape Town office, as I needed to complete an Industrial Placement as part of my university degree in the UK, and I've never looked back! I was lucky enough to get some work experience in most office departments in GVI whilst making some great friendships within GVI as well as some amazing travel based experiences, that I didn't want to go home! I did go home, but fortunately was offered a job upon graduation to return back to the team in Cape Town. I wouldn't say that I've changed, but I have learnt phenomenal amounts - about the travel, volunteer and marketing industries, but also about the kind of work I want to be doing in my professional life.