Ukraine Alumni Update by Mariam Halstian

Mariam walking across a pedestrian bridge.

Everyone who has experienced Global UGRAD knows that life after this amazing program changes in ways you were dreaming of. In my case, it happened so fast that I still cannot believe it!

I was lucky enough to spend my fall semester at Emporia State University in Kansas. The heart of America, as Kansas is often called, gave me lifelong friendships and memories. However, it gave me something more than I ever expected: the confidence that everything can be achieved – just do your best and don’t forget to dream big! In my case, my dreams were always connected with a job I’d always wished for in a field I’d seen myself in later in life – public policy.

In October, I saw an application form for an internship with the NATO Representative Team to Ukraine. I cannot believe that I made it through the first selection stage, the second one, and finally the interview. I will never forget November 27th when, after arriving to the Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington D.C., I got an email congratulating me on my selection as an intern at NATO in Ukraine! I felt happiness, excitement, but much more importantly, gratitude for the changes that happened to me during the Global UGRAD experience.

Exactly one year ago, I had an interview for Global UGRAD, the program which captured all my thoughts and dreams. Today, I am an intern for the NATO Representative to Ukraine, working in the field I really love with wonderful people who inspire me to make changes in my country every single day.

I know that this second opportunity could not have been possible without the first one. Global UGRAD helped me to dream big and do bigger!

Written by Mariam Halstian, Global UGRAD 17-18, at Emporia State University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *