Before you read this entry, there are two things you should know about me: 1) I have the obsessive need to make people smile and 2) I am very competitive… but only with myself.
I came to Boston from a warm country in Latin America where I lived 27 years of nonstop summer in Venezuela. After deciding to seek a higher education degree and being accepted to Emerson College, I found myself in Boston, a place I would call home for the next 2 years
During my first semester, I encountered the true meaning of a graduate level academic paper — 27 pages of research about something I had learned over the course of the class. I’m not going to lie, it was hard. I struggled for many weeks, but by the end of the semester, my professor and I were both satisfied with the outcome. With that submission complete, I was encouraged to apply to the IABD Conference held in San Francisco, where I presented my case study to a prestigious panel of international lecturers. My presentation brought with it some challenging questions, but I found that I was able to answer them all, proving to myself that I had in fact learned a great deal about the subject matter.
For my Summer class I had the opportunity to study abroad. This experience took me to Canada, where I got to explore how Civic Engagement efforts change from one country to another, regardless of their close proximity or similarities. Accompanied by a group of students from Carleton University in Quebec, we had the chance to meet active organizations that promote civic engagement for different purposes. With this experience, we exited our conventional classrooms and long lectures to go out and interact with leaders and institutes.
By the end of my first year, I had presented a paper at an international conference in San Francisco, was a Teacher’s Assistant for a Campaign Management class, traveled abroad for a Civic Engagement course, was elected President of the Graduate Students Association (GSA) and Vice President of the International Graduate Students Organization (IGSO), and befriended a wonderful group of students and an outstanding assembly of faculty members who genuinely encourage students to become the best versions of themselves. I also overcame the Winter Season and even found myself doing what the locals do — give new students recommendations on where to buy boots and where to find the best apple cider.
So, that’s been my experience. That’s how you move to a new place and make it your home — by continuously exploring all the wonderful things your new home has to offer. Expose yourself to new things and make this experience worth your time!
Ana Matilde Cappellin is currently a graduate student in Emerson’s MA of Communication Management Program. She is enthusiastic about life, advanced kitesurfer (even in the winter), recreational piano player, slow marathon runner, has a keen sense of humor and never settles with expected results. She graduated in Caracas, Venezuela from the Universidad Metropolitana in 2015 with a B.S. in Psychology. She currently is the President of the Graduate Students Association and an Executive Member of the International Graduate Student Organization. She hopes to graduate in the Spring Semester of 2019.
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