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Maria Camila Cepeda Cuellar

IES: Paris, Business and International Affairs
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Maria Camila Cepeda Cuellar

Liberal Arts Major(s): International Politics
Minor: French and Francophone Studies and Applied Economics
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia
Experience Time: Spring 2020

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I studied abroad in Paris at one of the IES study centers and was able to partake in an internship with Key Aid Consulting, a French consulting company.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As an international relations major, it is important for me to understand the dynamics between multiple countries, and to have at least a basic understanding of the nations I am particularly interested in. I gained a more thorough understanding and a different perspective on France and its relationship with Arab countries and with the European Union. Additionally, I was able to practice French like never before and I improved more by being in France for two months than I ever thought possible.

I now feel confident enough in my French that what was once a crazy idea of me living and working in France has become a possibility.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

The prospect of working for a consulting firm caught my attention a while ago and in Paris I was able to do just that. Now I know what it is like to work in a consulting firm and I really enjoy it. Most importantly, I learned a lot about "Cash and Voucher Assistance," which is a modality used in humanitarian aid. Working in the humanitarian sector is a possibility for me, and if I decide to go that route, I will be an advocate for CVA because I believe it is the most effective, efficient, and beneficial assistance modality. Finally, I now feel confident enough in my French that what was once a crazy idea of me living and working in France has become a possibility.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

My advisor was of tremendous help to me, especially when it came to choosing which classes to enroll in, which can be tricky but of utmost importance. My French teachers were great and made sure I got the most out of each class by making sure classes were as interactive and engaging as possible. They also encouraged participation and welcomed new methods and students' comments on the class. This helped me because I was able to practice a lot and make many mistakes during classes, mistakes from which I learned. I also received enrichment funding for which I am grateful. I am appreciative of the College of Liberal Arts for having this initiative to aid students.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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