One Career, Multiple Paths
The Global UGRAD Program boosted my confidence and helped me to open up to multiple possibilities. My experience abroad made me realize how flexible my skills and abilities are, and I became aware of the value of adapting to different environments. After my Global UGRAD experience, I started to feel braver to explore beyond one strict career path.
Back in November last year I started a six-month Internship at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua as a Civil Engineering student. To land an internship in the Human Resources section seemed quite odd, partly because engineers often focus mostly on design and numbers, but we tend to forget that engineering is also about managing resources that ultimately serve people.
What amazed me the most about my experience in the embassy was the teamwork-oriented function of the Post. I quickly learned that for one thing to work out, many sections need to be involved. I was also impressed by the willingness to share knowledge and the patience with which procedures were explained to me. The fact that I was treated as an equal to everybody else had a positive impact on my experience. This experience helped me to set a standard on how working environments should function and especially how people should be served and treated.
Almost two years after my exchange I am still evolving and living the positives changes that the Global UGRAD Program left in my life. Now, every ending – like the end of my Internship at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua – feels less sad and more hopeful knowing all the growth that experiences bring can be planted as seeds somewhere else.
Jezabel Aponte, Nicaragua, Global UGRAD 2018-2019, Old Dominion University