As a ten year old French girl, I woke up every morning excited to watch my favorite show, Dora The Explorer. As Dora would say the occasional English word, I enthusiastically repeated every single one. Coincidentally, my parents announced one morning that we were moving to America. When we arrived, I thought I would be well-equipped with the few words Dora had taught me, but to my dismay, I was wrong. With my strong French accent and limited vocabulary, classroom and playground conversations were beyond me. School was demanding, but I worked hard to succeed. Embracing an optimistic attitude, I broke out of my comfort zone. Three months into the school year, I was able to fully understand the language and a year later, I was already mistaken for an American.
This drastic change in life experiences enables me to relate to diverse people who have faced similar obstacles. It is because of this experience that I am completely bilingual, can grasp new concepts with ease, endure more stress, and remain focused through overwhelming situations. Hard work and persistence led me to take on more difficult challenges while never reaching my breaking point, whether it be an academic exam, interview, or significant project. This journey has taught me a lot about myself, what I am capable of, and has made me realize that these skills are transferable.
After the stress of school had ceased, I joined a soccer team for the first time. I continuously played with the same club, and a few years later the director asked if I wanted to become a coach. He said that my technical and leadership skills made me a great candidate.
I soon learned that coaching and playing on a team are very different things. As a soccer coach I worked with a wide range of age groups; I planned practices, incorporating engaging drills and forced the players to apply the right technique for a brief period of time and maintain their focus. As I got to know each player's strengths I encouraged the kids to learn from each other and to push themselves to keep up with their teammates. I saw coaching as teaching and made sure the players understood their role on the field by using simple imagery to illustrate the game, such as the PB&J analogy to describe man marking. I gave encouraging feedback to all players, tracking their improvement week by week.
My goal as a coach was to create an encouraging environment for the kids' personal development. My positive attitude was a pathway to becoming a role model for the kids. It allowed them to believe in themselves without being scared of making mistakes. By demonstrating my knowledge of the game, I showed them that practice and progressive improvement pay off.
Currently, I am a student at UC Davis working towards a degree in biomedical engineering. I have taken many difficult STEM classes which have challenged me more than ever before. Nevertheless, I have been able to succeed due to my determination and hunger to learn. Many of my peers needed additional help so I tutored friends, talking through problems to check their understanding of the process and working towards familiarizing difficult concepts. Tutoring forces me to be ready for any questions, to be willing to explain a topic in a different manner, and to have a deeper understanding of the material so that I can best explain abstract ideas. I learned to adjust to various learning styles by drawing diagrams or giving real life examples.
The skills I have acquired through my personal struggles, coaching experience, and tutoring are applicable to this position. The students I will be helping will be in similar situations than I was just ten years ago, but for reasons that may be other than a language barrier. I have gained the patience and willingness to help others succeed because it is a very rewarding experience.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of California-Davis - Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Engineering
I am an athlete, I love being active and spending time outside. I also love listening to music, reading, and doing arts and crafts.