By: Abigail Ayers
Michelle Fidelia graduated from NC State in the spring of 2014 with a double major in French Language and Literatures, and International Studies, as well as a minor in Spanish.
During her time at NC State, she also completed the Global Perspectives Certificate (GPC). After graduation, Fidelia continued her passion for international service and outreach by volunteering with the Peace Corps. She later became a case manager with an international emergency management (IEM) and homeland security company. Fidelia also continued her love for exploring and learning about new cultures by visiting five different countries.
Fidelia joined the Peace Corps in 2015 and helped to build a library in the Dominican Republic, where she also spent two years teaching children to read. While serving in the Dominican Republic, Fidelia furthered her understanding of Spanish and became a fluent speaker. She was later able to apply her new language skills as a multilingual social worker with Wesley House Family Services, a nonprofit organization serving children and families in Monroe County, Florida.
After becoming a certified social worker, Fidelia pursued a career with Rebuild Florida as a case manager where she is responsible for processing, monitoring, and tracking applications. Fidelia says her professional roles have all required her to interact globally and in diverse settings. She also explained she continues to use the language skills she developed at NC State and abroad to assist her clients every day. Fidelia feels she is more capable of easily relating to her clients as she always strives to learn more about other cultures.
Fidelia says she uses skills she obtained through GPC on a daily basis. Through the GPC she gained a sound understanding of how to work with and best serve people of other cultures. She furthered her perspectives on the importance of cultural diversity, especially within the workplace, and enhanced her global citizenship. She continues to strive to be a good global citizen in her personal and business travels as well, always remembering to say less and observe more in order to capture the essence of their culture to the best of her ability. “I appreciate my GPC for actively encouraging myself, students, and alumni to open their minds and to see and think globally,” said Fidelia.
For students currently in GPC, Fidelia highlights the international experience as being one of the most vital requirements of GPC. She describes her study abroad trip as something she will remember forever because it was a fully immersive cultural experience that cannot be found elsewhere. She suggests current students pay close attention to funding opportunities, such as scholarships and awards. Aside from the international experience component, Fidelia emphasizes the importance of the academic coursework for the GPC. It enabled her to grow, and open her mind to ideas and places which she had no prior knowledge of before beginning her GPC experience. Furthermore, Fidelia found the academic requirements of the GPC to offer a selection of diverse and interesting classes. She believes this “is super important to keep students engaged in becoming global and caring citizens.”
Please visit the GPC website to learn more about pursuing the Global Perspectives Certificate.