Student Spotlight: Valentina Guzman, Class of 2021

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
Augustin “Og” Mandino

I have lived by this quote throughout my high school experience. I have succeeded when others have doubted me or told me I was dreaming too big. But when it comes to my education, nothing is too big: I dreamed big, I worked hard, and now I am reaping my rewards.

Almost six months have passed since I received my acceptance letter to John Cabot University and this dreamlike haze has yet to leave me. Finding an apartment, applying for the study visa, buying airplane tickets – all this seems completely surreal and instead of dreading these chores, each and every one of them reminds me of the fact that I get to go live in Rome! I feel like life has been preparing me for this moment. Applying to John Cabot was a complete roller coaster of emotions and at times it almost seemed impossible to achieve my goal, but I will never regret the tears, sweat, and sleepless nights.

Being able to say to my classmates and family members who doubted my capabilities that I was able to achieve my dreams brings me a lot of satisfaction. But it’s not really about proving myself to others: it’s about the pride that comes with work well done. It’s about how I gave every drop of determination I could. In spite of how hard it got, I wouldn’t change a thing.

It was by pure chance that I decided to look for universities in Europe. Previously, I would never have imagined that my future home would be the cradle of civilizations, this incredible place where the ancient meets the modern. When I started my journey, I selected John Cabot for its strong academic program, the international community, and a little something else that I couldn’t figure out – it just felt like it was calling to me. Now, I’ve started to realize what that inexplicable “something” was: the people.

Not only the faculty and staff at JCU, but also the current students and incoming students I’ve talked to are simply wonderful human beings. I’ve already seen that the whole John Cabot community reaches out to those who are new and feel out of place and embraces them to make them feel like they belong there – all this, and I haven’t even arrived on campus yet! My last couple years in high school taught me valuable lessons on being a leader, and life experience has taught me a lot about what it takes to be a good human being: I know already that the John Cabot community shares similar values, and that it will be a good place to practice and enhance these qualities.

Furthermore, I believe that John Cabot University is going to give me the support needed to succeed in the international community I dream of working in. As an International Affairs student, the fact that the university works closely with organizations such as the Food and Agricultural Organization and provides a wide range of internships for students is crucial for my personal and professional growth. Surely, the knowledge I’ve acquired due to the civil war in Colombia will give me a more realistic look on the theoretical aspects of the classes. I know that by the time my graduation approaches, I will be ready to expand my knowledge and pursue a Master’s degree that might take me to another part of the world, and I will be ready for whatever is to come.

Valentina Guzman
International Affairs major
Class of 2021
Hometown: Cali, Colombia


Student Spotlight