Not being able to speak English well was a major roadblock to Natalia’s dream of working abroad. As it turns out, the challenge proved to be a turning point in the Colombian software engineer’s life. Natalia tells us how she studied hard, prepared dutifully for the selection process, and how her efforts paid off when she landed a job in Winnipeg, Canada. Maybe even more importantly, she talks about how she transformed her weakness into a source of confidence and enthusiasm.
The journey started three years ago when Natalia’s husband was looking for a job and came across VanHack. At first, she thought it just wasn’t for her but then something changed. The more Natalia learned about the different opportunities available the more she wanted to try. Enticed by the idea of facing a challenge and accomplishing something important, she made up her mind and told herself “I have to do it, I have to try. I have to improve my skills in English and show them what I know and what I can do”. What a great attitude, right?
Working on her English to get a job abroad
Reaching a career goal is never easy. For Natalia, it was no different. To showcase fluency in English, VanHack candidates are asked to record short video essays about their lives and careers. “The English verification videos were very stressful for me because I didn’t have a good level of English and I thought I wasn’t able to do them”, Natalia recalls. How did she turn things around? Well, she says her “secret” was just basic determination. “I tried, and I tried, and I tried”.
Before recording the videos, Natalia would study the question, gather the information that could help her formulate the best answer, and then rehearse. Reminding herself of her abilities was also important. “At the end of the day, I just had to tell myself that I knew what I was doing, that I knew I could do it well”
How VanHack helped boost her confidence
What makes someone keep going when things are hard? For Natalia, two things helped. First, she found support in all the resources that VanHack provides the candidates with. Mock interviews, reading materials, and guidance are some examples.
“I started to improve my English because I knew that it’s very important. And when I started to look for a new job in VanHack, I realized that there are a lot of options, a lot of ways to learn new things and a lot of resources. It was so great and VanHack was always helping me in every part of the process”
The second element to Natalia’s perseverance was the fact that she felt like she could just try, learn, and be at it again and again if things didn’t work out the first time.
“If I don’t do it well, okay, I am going to have another opportunity later. So yes, I tried a lot and it was stressful, but with time, I started to believe more in myself and that is the most important part of the process”.
Believe in yourself
Reaping the results of her hard work and counting on VanHack’s assistance boosted Natalia’s confidence. Now she wants other women who are also looking for jobs to also rely on their abilities and strength to achieve their dreams.
“Believe in yourself. Know that everyone in the world has something special, something that is different from the others. You have to show and explore that. Improve yourself every day, you can do it! Some years ago I thought I couldn’t do it but right now I know I can”.
You can hear Natalia’s story on the VanHack Podcast