Where are you from?
I am original from Madrid, Spain.
What brought you to Cleveland?
I moved from Columbus to the North-East Ohio region to pursue new employment opportunities with the City of Mentor.
What were your first thoughts about coming to the United States? Did those change?
I came to the USA to study international business in 1994. I thought that this country offered good opportunities to advance and prosper for those who were willing to work hard. Although my opinion has not changed, I have learnt that, cultural adaptation and social capital – relationship building and connections- play a very important role in an individual’s ability to succeed in this country.
What challenges did you face transitioning here?
There had been many challenges along the way. I have gone great lengths to adapt to the U.S. culture and lifestyle. Although I had a good command of the English language prior to moving to the U.S.A., it was challenging to study at the university using a second language. I worked very hard to advance my education up to a doctoral level while employed full time and taking care of my daughter. I also had to plan carefully and be very persistent in finding employment that was commensurate to my level of education, expertise and experience.
What is your occupation, or what are you studying?
I am Manager of International Trade at the Economic Development Department of the City of Mentor. I am responsible for helping local companies to expand overseas and for attracting foreign business to locate in our city. I love learning and am always studying something. Right now, I am completing my Economic Developer Certification.
What project or venture are you working on now that you’re excited about.
I am trying to organize reversed trade missions of foreign companies looking to enter the U.S. market. I am designing a training program to help them learn how to do business in the U.S., provide them with an overlook of business opportunities, and introduce them to potential clients and/or business partners. I hope to bring the first delegation of foreign business to Mentor within the next three months.