My name is Karen Visoná and I have just joined the Centre’s team as Coordinator.
I first heard of the Centre through a friend that had taken the course “Educating for the 21st century”. At that time I was working for an international hotel chain, as I studied hospitality management, but was feeling that the work I did had no impact on others’ lives. Sure, they had a great vacation or business trip, but that was it. So I started exploring what career change I could make, when my friend sent me one of the Centre’s e-mails introducing the “Skills for nonprofit leadership” course. I had always been interested in at some point getting involved with a nonprofit organization, and thought this course would be a great way to get started. After taking the course, I realized that though the hotel industry was a vibrant and exciting place to work, I had found what I was truly passionate about. It was then that I decided to pursue a master’s degree at the University for Peace in Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development.
I have to say that studying at UPEACE has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. Though I had studied abroad and met people from different countries, there’s something about the UPEACE experience that is unique. From the moment I had the first contact with the University through the Centre, and throughout the MA, I was surrounded by such a diverse environment and became more aware of other cultures. I appreciated that studying in a multicultural environment only enriches the learning experience and that this cultural exchange further develops our sensitivity and redefines preconceived ideas.
After several years of having worked in the hotel and restaurant industry and now having found a new professional interest, I value that even though I studied a particular subject and was trained in it, I acquired skills that can be applied to other areas of study. I learned about the importance of putting mind and spirit into the projects I develop and tasks I carry out; and understanding how the business works, but not forgetting the human side of it.
I am excited to have joined the Centre, as I truly believe that the work we do has a positive impact in people’s lives and the environment that surrounds them. I am glad that I now find myself at a point in my life where I have the opportunity to foster change. This is what I am passionate about, and I hope to be able to share that with you.