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The adventures of an Ecuadorian in USA

A Journal about an international student

Now What!!

IMG_3322What does happen when the country you live in is now rejecting you?! Is this normal? Is this how people feel living in a different place? Is  this a common problem for international students? or Do I miss my country that much that I feel rejection here?

This past month I have felt that every part of this country has rejected me. I have been lost for a long time, and I thought that I finally got everything together. Unfortunately,  it was a delusion. I have been living for two years now in the United States. And just know I am feeling that people do not understand me and that there is a huge cultural and communication barrier between me and the inhabitants of this country.  For instance, when I try to speak with people here in the company that I work, either they ignore me or they do not understand me.  I am feeling so confused that probably this blog will end up all over the place. You as a reader will say that this lecture does not have any sense. However, I have to vomit all the words that are stuck in my throat.

I feel like I am teenager trying to learn who to behave in public. The bad news is that I am almost 30 and I am now learning who to be strong,  raise your voice and fight for your goals no matter who you will run over during that fight. Maybe that’s why I feel rejected by this country.  I cannot even feel happy by the fact that now I am with someone that I love. I have that much options and I just want to be a butterfly playing with the wind. I do not feel free. I feel so stuck in this time, in this job in this country in this life that everything is making me stop a little bit and think other possibilities that I should have taken. Even this blog is so vague and lacks of any sense and core. But that’s how I feel in my life right now. I cannot be happy knowing that there are some other options out there. I cannot be happy sitting in the same chair staring at the same screen every single day. What is lacking in my life? WHAT!?

Love, Job, family, and friends I have it all but I just cannot stay calm thinking that there is something else that I need. The bad thing is that I do not know what I need to calm my soul and to enjoy this ride. The more I write the more I get confused about what my life is lacking. Maybe it is time for a new adventure, a new place, a new something. I hope I will have this answer soon because my brain cannot stop. It is screaming for something but it does not know what it is!?

.

…And the fight continues!

As you read in my last blog post, I mentioned some issues that as a foreigner living in the States I have to face. The battle is still up and the time is getting shorter. Now, I have to decide between two things my profession and my heart. How can one be focused if ones heart and mind are not in the same battle?

The fact that big companies do not give opportunities to capable professionals, no matter what nationality, is a big issue. In addition, as a woman it is pretty hard to decide between  ones career or heart. At this point of my life, I am having such a dilemma which I wish I were stronger so I can make the best decision for my life. On the other hand, it is frustrating to know that out there, there are people that are not willing to help you, and instead they judge you or  even worst try to give you a piece of advice when their lives are  messy as well. Anyway, the reason for this blog is to throw a new point of view about communication in a global world.

As a foreigner being in the States, I can say that is pretty hard because there are a lot of people that do not how to “deal” with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. I guess that one of the best skills I have is be able to communicate with people from every country, even if we do not speak the same language. There are a lot of people who are multi lingual; people who speak more than three languages and can talk with people; however, one thing is being capable to talk different languages and other completely different is being able to connect and communicate with others. To listen and try to be in the same shoes that the other person is. That’s is something that the business world does not understand yet. In this global world, people should be able to understand every single aspect of communication. One can be really good doing businesses but what happen when you are facing collectivist cultures. It is way hard to communicate and understand a person in a collectivist culture than a person who comes from a individualist culture. Understanding that sometimes you need to build a friendship with your client before selling something is more important than just arrive to the place and close the  “deal.” If you do that, I can bet you that you wont be able to close any deal. For some people these little aspects do not matter, but I believe that great companies have found ways to communicate with their different internal and external clients but sometimes with trouble. When you translate things to different languages you do not only translate the words, you also translate the essence of the message. If you only  translate the words, the message can get lost in translation. In summary my point is that there are a lot of professionals who speak several languages but there are not too many professionals or people who understand the essence of the message. The essence of every message is simple: people do not want to get hurt, they want to be happy in their own ways.

Here is an example: https://hbr.org/2015/04/building-relationships-in-cultures-that-dont-do-small-talk

How a Foreign Professional Can Be Put Aside Just Because Companies are not Willing to Deal with It?

There are probably 100 blogs about this, but it is just so frustrated for me as well as for the people out there who are living this experience. My name is Raissa. I am from Ecuador. I came to the U.S 19 months ago to pursue a master degree. After finishing my studies, I decided to stay here in order to accomplish a goal. One thinks that a professional like me who speaks three languages and has little experience in several fields could easily find a job here, in “America the melting pot.” However, it is not true. A while ago, I was overwhelmed with job interviews, but as soon as the companies found out my situation, they either try to disqualified me or apologize to me saying that they cannot hire me just because of “the paperwork.” I am a legally authorized to work in the U.S. Yes, I MAY  OR MAY NOT need sponsorship next year. Anyways, these companies do not want to deal with any “political” issue that involves hiring a GOOD, CAPABLE, SKILLFUL, professional. The sad part about this is that the people who manage the hiring process or make the decisions are either foreigners or one of their family members is foreigner. So they know how challenging and hard can be this, but instead they make it even harder.   But as the Dalai Lama says in his book “The Art of Happiness: A hand book for Living,” one should be thankful with people who harm us because one can practice tolerance and patience. Without them, one would not know what tolerance and patience is (Dalai Lama, 1998).

On the other hand, I acknowledge that lots of foreigners professionals have been hired for companies that do not care about the cultural background. This has not happened to me, so if someone is willing to share his/her story it is more than welcome.

I am just an individual who is frustrated. I am just an individual who has skills and is capable to work, but to whom doors and windows have been closed. I know you might probably be asking yourself, “why does she want to stay here then.” Simply, I like challenges and this journey has been quiet a challenge, and besides I believe professionals like me have more opportunities to professionally grow here. Do not take me wrong, I love my country and all the things it has, but to be sincere, one can make a little bit better here. Please, if you strongly disagree with me do not make controversy out of it and judge me, this is just my humble point of view, and I do not harm anybody with this.  Lastly, I just want to share this with the people who understand me, who I believe are a lot. I applaud the people who have succeeded in this challenge, and I bring my strength to the people who are still in the journey.

Everything started more than a year ago……

In August 18th,2013, I came to the United States to study. It was the first time that I was traveling by myself and more importantly this time there was nobody waiting for me at the airport for welcoming me to the new adventure I was about to start.
It was not the first time I was in the area my school is located. Some months ago I came to visit the school, so I already knew the neighbor (or that’s was I believed). My first shelter was a hotel. When I booked it online, I though it would be a good idea to stay somewhere close to the school, so I could go school to sign any paperwork before starting class. However, the hotel was a place not suitable for lonely foreigner woman. The hotel looked like those motels that you see in American movies where there is always a murder or something illegal going on. It was summer and the days were really hot. After walking around the area, I used to go to the hotel and locked the door until the next day. I used to put all my heavy bags next to the door so that nobody can trespass my little fort. As it was summer in the nights the people, who apparently lived there, liked to go outside and talked for hours smoking marihuana. Some others preferred to stay in their rooms and have a little fun with the partner of the night. I think that if my parents would have known where I ended in my first week of being away from home, they would have made me go back to my country immediately.
After two weeks of waiting for the confirmation of the apt, which it was going to be my shelter for the next year, I finally moved in. The apartment was in third floor. It had a big kitchen (or I least I though that the first time I saw it). My room was little but clean and with any marihuana smell around it (or at least that’s what I though). Life was starting to smile at me in the new adventure. The was good, my roommates seemed to be really good people. I couldn’t been more excited to start school and living by my own in a new country. But life was not going to let me enjoy the journey. It had a lot of surprises hidden in order for me to understand and learn important lessons in life.
I am still here, and I am still learning how to go through all of this journey.

Sincerely,

Raissa

Coca- Cola Social Media Guard

Share a real moment with Coca-Cola is how the company invites its consumers to put away their mobile devices and share with their loved ones a moment of happiness and togetherness. The film “Coca-Cola Social Media Guard” was posted on YouTube on February 19 by Coca-Cola Middle East, and it spread viral through the Internet. Since its beginning, the film has been watched by over three million people around the world. However, as all good campaigns there are people who react positive, negative or neutral. In order to analyze the impact in the social media channels, YouTube and Twitter have been chosen.

On one hand, according to YouTube reports,Untitled[1] from its launching date to February 26, date which this report was developed, there were 20 406 people who liked it, and 1 537 who did not liked it. To measure the intensity of the sentimentalism of the video through coding hang information, it was necessary to determine a sample, and a length of time. The sample chosen involved 40 comments in YouTube analyzed from 10am to 1pm. The results were that sixty three percent of the comments reviewed mention the brightness of the video. Comments such as “it is exceptionally brilliant,” “love it,”  “Muito boom” (very good), “Si esto es real” (Yes, this is real), supported the positive sentiment towards the video. Nevertheless, comments such as “estupido” (stupid), “malo” (bad) comprehend the seventeen percent of the negative sentiment that viewers had towards the video. It is important to mention that in this seventeen percent, comments related to the decision about closing facilities in Fuenlabrada, Mallorca, Asturias and Alicante affected the sentiment of the consumers.

On the other hand, Twitter, with #SocialMtwitter_sentimental[1]ediaGuard, reported on February 26 that 59 percent of the tweets (percentage obtained by coding hang method) are positive. Terms such as “genius,” “brilliant,” “fun”were some of the examples about how customers feel about the brand and the new device which is called “The cone of Shame.” According to TOPSY (analytic tool used to develop the current report),on February 27 Twitter showed 872 tweets since the date the video was launched. From the total population of the tweets found by TOPSY a positive sentiment indicated 55 points. Tweets such as “Well done”, “Loving #Coca-Cola’s #SocialMediaGuard,” “Awesome Social Media Guard” support the positive sentiment about the video. Socialmention mentions in its free analytic tool that the strength (how strong is the brand is mention on social media) shows a 36 percent.

Overall the sentiment toward this new viral is positive; however there are some negative tweets and comments found on these two social media networks that could be bring some level of awareness to the brand. For instance, as mentioned before, some of the comments found on Youtube were related to the decision of closing some facilities in Spain. As a result, these types of commeScreenshot_2014-02-27_14.45.44[1]nts may bring some dissatisfaction and angriness to Coca-Cola. As a recommendation, it is important to pay attention and interact with those people because this interaction might improve the image of the brand, transforming those consumers in influencers that will talk better about the brand.  

To refresh the world, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness, and to create value and make a difference are the purposes of the brand. As a result, the company along with the new video has reinforced its purpose. First of all, the video has brought a refreshing concept of face-to-face is outdated. For instance, “The Cone of Shame” has been introduced as a fresh breeze in this new mobile era. Moreover, “Coca-Cola Social Media Guard” shows consumers how putting away their mobile devices can bring happiness, optimism and togetherness. Lastly, “The Core of Shame” shows consumers the valuable of sharing moments with their loved ones. The dynamic storytelling model that Coca-Cola uses to disperse systematically its information and campaigns among every culture makes the company the owner of excellence content as shown videos like this. Tolga Cebe, region manager, Coca-Cola Middle East, stayed in The Coca-Cola Journey website that they have been pleasantly surprised by the results, which revel a strong and positive sentiment from around the world and, ironically, highlight the global power of social media.  

Screenshot_2014-02-26_13.47.47[1]Screenshot_2014-02-27_20.29.37[1]

Socila Media Guard

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