I would like to start this story by introducing myself. My name is Andrea Molinares and I am an international student from Colombia that recently enrolled at USF. I must admit living abroad and studying at USF has been an amazing experience for me because it has taught how to live on my own, open myself to new people and change my mindset about many things. However, by far the best experience I’ve had in the United States is becoming part of the American Marketing Association (AMA). This student organization is devoted to help students get involved in the world of Marketing by giving its members AMAzing possibilities to develop their leadership skills and get real world experience doing what they love. Being a Marketing major myself, I knew I had to get involved in this association to further my Marketing knowledge and put myself out there in this new study abroad adventure.
Thanks to the AMA USF chapter, I had the opportunity to attend the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans last April with my USF peers for the first time, and all I can say is that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! I got to bond and share unforgettable moments with AMA USF members and experience the Marketing world like I never have before. The fact that I got to spend three days with people that shared my passion for Marketing and love for learning was priceless and wonderful. On top of that, the conference featured excellent keynote speakers from all over the United States with incredible knowledge and experience in different Marketing related fields as well as, incredible chances to mingle with students from other universities through T-shirts competitions, banquets, boot camps and events. In particular, my favorite parts of the NOLA trip were to break out of my shell to become an active member of the AMA family and to participate in the Digital Marketing Boot Camp to get certified as a Professional Certified Marketer. Equally, traveling to New Orleans and experimenting its rich culture, jazz music and food (mainly Beignets!) deeply changed me as a person.
In other words, the New Orleans trip genuinely transformed me and made me feel that I fit in somewhere. Living abroad on my own has not been an easy task. However, with AMA I now feel part of something great. I feel part of a family. This wonderful student organization has helped me gain confidence speaking in English, opening myself to new opportunities and setting higher goals for my personal and professional life. Joining AMA USF has been the best decision I have made since joining the University of South Florida earlier this year.