From Where I Stand: October 2020 Edition

Thao Nguyen, Vietnam, Endicott College, Global UGRAD 2009-2010

After completing my Global UGRAD exchange program in Spring semester 2010, I went back to Vietnam to finish my last semester at RMIT Vietnam and graduated in the same year. Inspired by a course undertaken in Endicott College during my Global UGRAD experience, I began to pursue a career in Marketing, achieved certain successes in the last 9 years and progressed to become a Senior Brand Manager. However, I felt a lack of fulfilment as if there was something missing in my life. I took some time to reflect on my work and volunteer experience. Finally I realized that I would want to work with vulnerable people and communities. I decided to quit my corporate career in 2019 and moved to Sydney, Australia to study a Master of Social Work degree. Not only being a student, I also work at my university, Western Sydney University, in various roles as a student representative and advisor. I enjoy this path so much and am glad that I decided to take this leap of faith. I can’t wait to finish my degree and start working as a social worker. Here’s a picture of me at Bondi Beach, a famous beach in Sydney. It doesn’t show my feet but it’s from where I stand.

Gabriela Carolina Ayala Contreras, Guatemala, St. Cloud State University, Global UGRAD 2013-14

I’m a sworn interpreter a translator English- Spanish; Spanish – English in projects with the Justice Education Society of BC and Public Prosecutors Office in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Interpreting and translating is my passion and working to help victims of crime makes me feel we all can create a better world, full of equality and opportunities.

Dr. Janna Indhira Bastardo Acosta, Dominican Republic, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Global UGRAD 2013-2014

At the end of the program, I focused on continuing my medical studies and in the end I did it, I’m a doctor!

The journey was not easy but now I can see the fruits of so much efforts. I’m currently working in a primary care center in a low-income community located in the north of the Dominican Republic. Despite the situation of COVID-19 in my country and the difficulties we are facing, doing my job every day and helping others is my new passion. This is where I stand.

Victoria Dorzhu, Russia, California State University San Marcos, Global UGRAD 2019-20

 During my Global UGRAD journey, I had a great opportunity to contribute to the Global Gazette with an article about incredible connections to my homeland. After completing Global UGRAD Program, I was invited to work as a correspondent in local television studio. My first serious experience was during a global pandemic, so have to work with safety protection regulations. Journalists cannot work from home because it’s impossible to cover a story from self-quarantine. Therefore, I am proud to share important news with the people of my Republic.