International Business and Trade Student, Richland College

“I was born in Mexico, and I moved to the U.S. in 2012. I knew that moving to this country would mean overcoming several challenges. The first and most difficult for me was learning English. I found Richland College and started taking Continuing Education classes. Then I moved on to the ESOL (English as a Second Language) program, which gave me the tools I needed to continue my education.

“After talking with my advisors, I got interested in the International Business and Trade program. I contacted [program coordinator] Chip Izard, and, after talking to him, I was sure I had found the right program for me. He was supportive and pushed me to believe in myself, and guided me to go step by step to reach my goals.

I also appreciated that he was always available and happy to help students. After two years of hard work, I earned an associate degree in International Business and Trade with a GPA of 3.891.

“The program gave me knowledge on how to do business internationally while considering the market, finances, laws and regulations, transportation, partnerships and product characteristics. However, I have to say that I consider knowledge of culture one of the key elements to be successful. That is why my favorite part was meeting new people from different cultures and learning their way of living, thinking, celebrating and negotiating.

“This program was a great beginning for me, and my journey has just started — I am taking classes to obtain an Import-Export Certificate. My next goals are learning a third language and study abroad.”