Adriana is also an active member of the Hispanic, LGBT, and women’s Employee Resource groups and is also a member of the D&I council for the Monaca site. She explains the importance of active inclusion to achieve diversity of thought in her personal and work life, and how her collegiate experience has helped her be a better team member.
Adriana grew up in Colombia, and her parents got divorced before she finished high school. Adriana saw her mom struggled financially to raise her and her two sisters as a single mom. Despite the difficulties and knowing that going to college would be a challenge, that is exactly what Adriana set her mind to do. Unfortunately, good quality education is not cheap in Colombia and at the time there were no loans that would cover 100% of the tuition fees. Adriana got accepted in the best engineering university in the country which also happens to be the most expensive one and she knew nothing would stop her from getting her degree in Chemical Engineering.
Today, Adriana is a proud alumna of Los Andes University in Colombia, South America, Adriana’s journey to get her degree in chemical engineering wasn’t always easy. Even though she was working nights and weekends, finances were still tight. In addition to that, some of the classes for her degree were taught in English – a second language for Adriana – making it harder to keep up.
She recalls, “All the books were written in English and although I bought the translated textbooks in Spanish, they were not completely aligned with the books my teachers used… Every task took me so much longer than it did other students. I was exhausted and I knew I wasn’t learning as much as I could with all the additional distractions.”
Midway through the program, Adriana decided to study English abroad in England before returning to finish her degree. With hard work and dedication, she achieved her goal, but her trip abroad ended up teaching her so much more than English.