Gabriella Blanco/ Staff Writer
Max Carvajalino graduated from FIU in the summer of 2017 with a degree in political science and a minor in Italian.
Carvajalino is a first-generation Colombian-American who pursued a degree in political science while also minoring in Italian, a feat that let him study abroad in Italy for a summer semester. He’s also someone I go all the way back to kindergarten with.
Even though the two of us are not walking around MMC together or grabbing snacks between classes anymore, he and I are still the best of friends.
While I’ve been working on my own path that’ll bring me closer to the graduation stage and shaking hands with President Rosenberg, Carvajalino has been volunteering at Miami International Airport.
“It’s a way to get work experience and be able to network so maybe I could get a job at the airport,” said Carvajalino.
Although volunteer work like this may not be where most people see themselves the minute they leave university, especially when they have all of these big ambitions for how they want their career to take off, it’s pretty understandable.
“There’s a lot of patience in waiting to hear back from companies, but that just makes me more hopeful and ambitious,” said Carvajalino.
Carvajalino is job-hunting anywhere he can, and he is a prime example of the reality that is post-undergrad life.
During his downtime, Carvajalino said, “It feels like I’m on vacation. I hangout with friends, relax at home, apply for jobs to get me out of the house; then there are days when I do get out and take the train to the airport.”
But the airport, according to Carvajalino, is not that bad. He cites his time being a part of the large FIU community and encountering people from all parts of the world as one of the biggest things he took with him from his time as an undergraduate.
“There’s a reason both have the word ‘international’ in their names,” Carvajalino said.
“I think [being both a volunteer at the airport and an alumnus from FIU] has prepared me for this and beyond. The education given by the professors [at FIU] have really shown me things that I never learned before and can take with me once I do start my career.”
It should go without saying that Carvajalino doesn’t see himself staying at the airport as a volunteer forever. Carvajalino would love to do something with his political science degree.
“I know a lot of people who [also majored in political science] that want to right away start off far away, but I would like to work closer to home. Like, I would love to work in the governor’s office and work on local campaigns.”
To me, this is one of the best ways to look forward to the future. Carvajalino took one of the most important lessons he learned at FIU and is utilizing it in the real world while he works on his own personal development: giving back and bringing people together.
Without being strapped to a career, it goes to show that volunteer work can do a lot for all involved.
It’s these realistic little steps that make what Carvajalino, and recent alumni like him, just as important as those who have made it elsewhere straight after graduation.
For a generation that is moving away from the idea that you must be a success with a house, a spouse and a job by your mid-twenties, it gives hope of what’s to come and makes everyone just a bit more ambitious for reaching their own goals.
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