What inspired you to work in this field? As a Latina raised by a first-generation Mexican-American father and an immigrant mother from Mexico, I learned early on that some individuals aspire to pursue educational opportunities in foreign countries like the United States, but not everyone has the means to do so. Knowing that my mother could not afford to support herself to study in the U.S. fueled my initial drive to help students abroad who wish to come to the U.S.
What are the challenges you've faced?
When I first started in international education, one of the challenges I faced was imposter syndrome. I realized that most individuals in the field had studied abroad for their undergraduate and/or graduate studies, and I had not. Because of this, I felt that I was behind on certain aspects of the field and that perhaps I did not belong. However, I soon realized that my own experiences in Mexico, visiting family for long periods of time, and my own upbringing were something that international students could relate to.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? I hope to look back in a few years on what I have built within this field and see the international students I have worked with achieving their dreams. Witnessing others achieve their goals is an accomplishment and a great passion.
If you can give 1 or 2 pieces of advice to our prospective international students, what would it be?
My advice to prospective students is to get involved and ask questions. It's completely okay to ask for help, and it's important to reach out to people and create a new community. Don't be afraid to try new things, including different foods. Although they may not taste like the ones from home, it's important to try a variety of new foods as well.