REFLECTION

Throughout my transfer years, I have learned that I am capable of more than what I call myself for. Every challenge I overcame, whether it was learning to push my own boundaries or going with the flow when plans (some of which have been structured for years to go a certain way) do not go as planned. Every negative moment has made me stronger and more adept to take on the world. My global experience from the International Scholars Program has provided an avenue for me to broaden my education through engaging international courses, international events on campus, and extracurricular activities that were a few gems I will forever keep. Through campus involvement, I was able to develop and enhance my critical thinking, professionalism, and intercultural skills outside of the classroom.

My favorite part of all my intercultural experiences is creating lasting relationships with individuals from different backgrounds, generations, and diverse beliefs. The international opportunities for STE(A)M females in my field is scarce and recently I have witnessed a decline of women like me in construction in a facet, encouraging myself and my goals. Most of all, through this enriching opportunity of educating myself, I grew a new sense of civic responsibility to engage in volunteering and create a positive change in my community and the global spheres. I believe the world works best in unity. One aspiration of my personal and professional life is to ensure that the people I come across feel heard. For us to all unite, I believe there is a need to educate ourselves about one another. I believe everyone has a unique story and there is so much we can learn about one another, whether it be through study abroad, reading, storytelling, design, or just simple communication.

Throughout my studies in construction, I believe I now have a clearer notion that my career path is not yet satisfactory, and I have still have some work to do. I am so proud to be the first generation in my family to graduate from college. After graduation, I will spend the next couple of years traveling and building my construction experience. Throughout my gap year, I will continue working and volunteering in low-income and homeless communities. Along every step in my academic and career journey, having an international perspective will be an essential component in my success as a future designer. Upon completion of the International Scholars Program, I have developed professional career skills such as digital literacy through creating and showcasing my E-portfolio. Furthermore, through these opportunities I believe I have now acquired the capacity to lead, provide initiative, work in a team, adapt and problem-solve in ambiguous situations. My intercultural competency and ability to speak in English and Spanish will allow me to adapt to our globally diverse workforce. I can now confidently say that I feel ready and comfortable to take on any challenges that come my way!

Thank you, University of Florida, for providing me with not only controversial moments but also diamonds in your rough such as the International Scholars Program, University Scholars Program, your entire library system (my second home away from Home) , and certain members of the staff at the College of Design, Construction, and Planning who appreciated my strengths and weaknesses when others just made me feel (at times) worthless; however, forced me to break any naïve mindsets left that makes me trust without thinking.

SKILLS

Being part of the International Scholars Program (and other things) has expanded my knowledge and history of certain issues that are reflected today and possibly leading to the solutions. However, during my time in the program and UF, in general, I have been exposed to certain people and situations that have forever changed my global understanding. Skills that I have evolved were:

1. Critical & Analytical Thinking

2. Listening to all perspectives

3. Adapting to life

INTERNATIONAL COURSEWORK

  • I have taken environmental courses, African studies, and my degree course work in CM. I have seen how my industry of choice is connected to the broader picture of how socioeconomic problems play out and where to make changes in the future and/or inspiration.

 

  • The "Sustainability in the Built Environment" courses allowed me to refresh my Photoshop skills and design by creating poster and video projects that reflect the relationship between my major (construction management) and climate change or illegal black market activities. In addition, I was able to communicate with students outside the US and UN officials about the conditions of infrastructure in different countries comparative to the issues of urban sprawl/inequalities in American design.

  • The "African Studies" course was a dual institution program where I was further exposed to not only the past of my culture but also how to bring the culture forward - which lead to some of the aesthetics that I wish to use in future designs and entrepreneurial endeavors. 

  • Architectural History 1 class was part of my first degree choice of dual major in Architecture and CM; however, a certain someone and situation caused my unnecessary removal (not academic issue) from the Architecture degree but not the history class. I kept this one course due to the ISP credit and my enjoyment of seeing the techniques of infrastructure from the past.

African Studies End-of-Year project 

GLOBAL EXPERIENCES

PEACE CORP PREP

  • For the program and my exit certification, I choose the Environment Sector due to my field and experience in construction and my love of nature...big and small. The possibility of helping other people is just an addible bonus.

  • Durante los años en la escuela primaria y secundaria y la universidad de Florida, estudié Español y practicé con mis amigas continuamente. Español es importante para me porque en construcción, es mi responsibilidad protectar los trabajadores en el sito. Támbien, encanteme aprenedido otras lenguas y culturas.

  • Volunteer a H4H where I helped to clear the sites before the house pieces were delivered. I was able to get down and dirty...literally - there were plenty of hurricane struts that had to be embedded, as-builts to be taken out, and removal of any dangerous obstructions (that did not require a specialist to remove of course).

  • University Scholars Program Research (see Center for Undergrad Research tab)

  • Planning to volunteer with Peace Corp during Graduate/Vocational studies in any Spanish speaking country.

Campus Event #1 @ Harn Museum - 2018

Academic and activist presentations and interactive chats that centered around our affects and possible reduction of climate change

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Campus Event #14 - ZOOM CHat & Ted talk - 2020

Well, with the pandemic slowing certain aspects of my college life down, it was nice to have an open forum on the topic of how narrow perspectives and the only belief in a "single story" can be the root of heinous discretions of people to be falsely vindicated and rewarded. 

Campus Event #6 - Indigenous reverence week - 2019

Paying homage to a piece of my family history and the fact of one of the strongest cultures that continuously prevail