It was February, my final semester of my final year at the University of Virginia. With five years of studying under my belt, I would be graduating in just a few months with a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and my Masters in Teaching. The snow was piling up outside as I scanned a list of schools coming to the education job fair hosted by my university. Two international schools were on that list. I was nervous and hopeful. I had missed my chance a few months before, but this might still be my opportunity, I thought to myself.
At the time, I was living in a house with other future teachers, and two of my dear friends had jetted off a few weekends before to a job fair hosted by Search Associates, landing jobs in Bangladesh. I had been anxious since their return. I had mistakenly listened to the naysayer advice from a company representative. He had come to my university forecasting there would not be enough positions for me, so I did not even apply to the network that eventually connected my friends to their jobs. Upon the girls' return they said, "There were so many positions in your specialty that would have been a great fit for you," and I inwardly winced for giving up without even trying.
That was my motivation. I needed to go after my dream and correct my failure. I had failed to put myself out there in the first place because I feared the predicted rejection would come true. I needed to overcome my fear. I wanted to prove for myself that though I came from a modest background and was paying my way through college with loans and scholarships—a life abroad could still be accessible, even to me. I would not let naysayers speak to my fears anymore. I took a deep breath and walked into the fair, making my way directly to my overseas future.
I moved to Trieste, Italy six months later to intern as an ESL and music teacher (a job I acquired through connecting with my interviewer over my extracurricular talents). Six Februarys later, I was back at my University recruiting for the Casablanca American School, my current employer, at the same job fair where I first took off. By that point, I had visited many places and had many more victories and failures .
I had learned to surf, took on new languages, and was willing to try almost anything. This openness to new experience led me to go on a date during the recruitment trip with a fellow sojourning friend, who later flew to Morocco and convinced me to marry him while catching monkeys and riding waves.
Veronica was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was raised in Virginia and 'identifies with any culture of the world that wants to claim her because of her ethnically-ambiguous looks.' She has taught Kindergarten-12th grade and loves to bond with people by taking road trips, drinking coffee, playing music, and doing any outside activity--especially walking, running or surfing at the beach. You can connect with Veronica on LinkedIn, and follow her adventures on Instagram!