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Meet Julianne Capati: CEA Prague On-Site Ambassador

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My last semester as a senior, I was drowning in assignments, exams, even worse, that dreadful question of, "What are you going to do after college?"

During my college career, I was a business development intern for a yogurt company, photographer for a local food blog, student intern for a casting company in Prague, CEA Senior Alumni Ambassador, and a business development associate for an interpretation company. Out of all of these roles, the defining moment of my college career was studying abroad in Prague.

In all vulnerable moments of college, getting an internship was burned into my mind. Why would anyone hire us if we didn't have an ounce of experience?

I was so driven by the fear of not being successful after I graduated that I became instantly passionate about the work opportunities available to me. If I intern in Los Angeles, maybe I could find a permanent job in California? Chicago? Possibly New York? My mom told me that I wouldn't be able to live in any of those cities; that it was too expensive and I would not be able to support myself.

 Julianne (center-right) with fellow CEA Alumni Ambassadors at The University of Arizona.

So as one can imagine, the idea of studying abroad to her was even more ludicrous, and not a concept she could understand. To her dismay, my heart was set on interning abroad in Prague to gain professional and international experience.

As I frantically packed my bags, took my first international flight, and arrived in Prague...I felt a complete sense of liberation. From planning my first trip to a different country, to exploring the cobble-stoned streets of Prague, I had never felt more in control of my life. During my internship abroad, I worked all the odd jobs my supervisor asked of me. I always made myself available, constantly reaching out to the CEA staff to find new networking opportunities. I was determined to completely immerse and engage myself in the Czech culture and their business environment.

 Julianne tabling with fellow CEA Alumni Ambassadors on the UofA mall.
 
 Julianne tabling with fellow CEA Alumni Ambassador on the UofA mall.

After I returned from Prague, I became a CEA Alumni Ambassador to educate as many students as I could and help them pursue the same life changing experience I did. Some would say that I was bitten by the travel bug after I returned, but on the contrary; I was passionate about the ability to take control of my own life, finding myself in places I've never been before.

For two semesters, I worked with CEA to create study abroad awareness at the University of Arizona. I led CEA Prague program info-sessions for prospective students and aided them throughout their pre-departure process. I hosted tabling events on campus and assisted the study abroad office at my university. Everything I did had an international focus.

Toward the end of my senior year at the career fair, I took a step back from all the recruiters and perky about-to-graduate seniors, and felt tears well up in my eyes. I didn't want a job in Chicago, Los Angeles or New York. There was nothing more that I wanted than to be in Prague again!

 Julianne (center-left) leading a scavenger hunt for Summer '16 Prague internship students.

On the morning of April 11th, I received a phone call that I was selected to be the first CEA On-Site Ambassador in Prague! After all the job interviews with various companies, the decision to accept the On-Site Ambassadorship never felt more right.

I graduated on May 13th and arrived in Prague on May 21st. The On-Site Ambassadorship is my first post-grad professional endeavor and I've never felt more passionate about what I do. I support the CEA Prague team with program operations including helping coordinate student arrivals, orientation, and housing, create social media content, and develop new business relationships with local Czech companies. In addition, I help facilitate the study abroad experience for on-site students and act as a resource to them.

 Julianne preparing welcome packets for Summer '16 Prague students.

So far, the On-Site Ambassadorship has surpassed ALL of my expectations. The CEA Prague staff treats me like I truly am a valued member of the team! I interact with different operations such as housing, student services, academics, etc. I love that I am being challenged and expected to contribute innovative ideas in a supportive environment. I've learned how to leverage my American business degree to complement their European work style and create the most impactful study abroad experience for students. CEA wants me to succeed, which makes this program the best possible professional opportunity I could have asked for.

The On-Site Ambassadorship is very important to me. I'm focused on gaining more professional experience in an international business environment and understanding different aspects of global business. My goal in the On-Site Ambassadorship remains the same as my previous positions with CEA: To create globally aware students through the experience of studying abroad.

Julianne C. is a CEA alumna from the Summer 2015 semester in Prague,she is a recent graduate of The University of Arizona where she studied Marketing. She is currently a CEA On-Site Ambassador in Prague, Czech Republic.


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