CETUSA Alumni: Alina from Peru

As always, we love to hear any and all feedback from our participants about their time on the program. Recently, we’ve been reaching out to program alumni to see what they thought about their time with CETUSA and discuss their experiences. Last week, I had a chance to speak with Alina from Lima, Peru.

Alina was an intern at Scripps Research Institute in Southeast Florida. While she wasn’t allowed to explicitly say what her research project was, Alina was able to tell me that it was focused around nutrition and aging. According to Alina, the work was very intense and mentally demanding, but ultimately fulfilling. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at now without my internship through CETUSA,” she explained, “it really reaffirmed that this was what I wanted to do”.

After finishing her program, Alina returned to Lima to finish her B.S. in Biology. She has since moved on from academia and is working in research and development at a food company in Lima, though she may want to return to school to earn her Master’s in Food Science and Technology.

I asked Alina about what she remembered most about her time in the US and her face instantly lit up from the happy memories. The first thing she mentioned was going to see the blue moon on a beach at night. Interestingly enough, her other favorite memory involved going to the beach as well, going to see giant sea turtles laying their eggs in the sand. “They bury them so deep!” Alina exclaimed as she was describing the experience to me. Overall, she has very fond memories of the United States. She told me all about how polite Americans were during her time here and how she enjoyed talking to people every day.

Alina Soto-Obando - flyroom (1)

Alina developed a good relationship with her supervisor during her time at Scripps. She told me that the person in charge of her research group was one of her closest friends while she was in the US. The two have stayed in close contact even after Alina’s program ended. “A few papers we worked on together are being published so we have to talk because of that,” Alina tells me, but then goes on to explain that they had been in touch besides that as well. In fact, Alina even told me that when the company she works for now had to travel to California for an industry exhibition, she made a point to stop in Florida just to see her supervisor as well as another friend she had made who was still interning at Scripps.

It’s clear to see how beneficial this program was for Alina. She was able to get fantastic real world experience while also becoming familiar with a completely different culture from her own. This is exactly what we love to see come out of the program, participants who are able to take the knowledge they gained from their training or internship and apply to their careers. We would like to wish Alina all the best in her career.

Are you a CETUSA Alumni and would like to share your story? Please send an email to kody.linscott@cetusa.org for more information.

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