By Eric Feldman
Earlier this month, four FIU students spent three days in Washington, D.C., where they visited the offices of seven government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The goal of the trip was to provide insight into globally-focused careers in the nation’s capital. Although all Panthers, they hail from four different countries – Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti and Cuba.
Camila Robledo, Steve Delicat, Angelo D’Ercole and Elimelech “Eli” Risse secured their places on the trip by entering Global Learning‘s annual Transformation Contest and submitting a work of art which depicted an experience in their lives which transformed their world view.
“The Transformation Trip to Washington did exactly that: transform me,” Robledo said after returning home to South Florida. “Learning from government officials and employees of non-governmental organizations guided me in the direction I want to go.”
At each stop, our FIU delegation engaged with representatives from each office about their personal journeys and the challenges and successes in their work given the current global political climate.
The group also had a chance to visit FIU’s new Washington, D.C., federal relations office, which in addition to housing staff who handle FIU’s governmental affairs, is a hub for engagement with our university’s students and alumni – especially those interning and working in D.C.
In addition to meeting with members of the foreign and civil service to discuss career paths, the State Department treated the group to a tour of the diplomatic reception rooms where the U.S. Secretary of State greets foreign diplomats.
Delicat is now considering options he never previously considered. “The entire trip woke me up a bit. It presented me with opportunities I didn’t know existed. I never thought I’d be interested in working for any federal agencies, or that they could allow me to be creative, such as in marketing and communications roles.”