The semester has finally come to an end, marking the midway milestone for the program experience in Houston. It has been a long semester with ups and downs, challenges, achievements and learning experiences that I may not have time to fully reflect on over winter break.
In the last few days when preparing for our final presentations I was almost to the burnout point where all I could think about was getting some rest during the break. However, as we presented our project review, I realized how excited I am for what is yet to come in our next and final semester. Not only that, we have now selected the need we want to go ahead with and so far it is strongly related to our findings in Costa Rica. This served as a refreshment of why I wanted to be part of the GMI cohort to begin with: coming up with innovative solutions that will help the people in my country and around the globe. Knowing that we will continue to work towards that goal as a team refueled my desire to learn and contribute to this cause (although I might need a few days off at least!).
I will be going back home for the break, spending time with my family and friends but also setting aside a few days where I may look deeper into our findings and see what information I can gather so we can retake our task in the Spring with enthusiasm and effectiveness as a team. I am planning on going to Liberia, where our original need comes from, despite it being a few hours drive from where I live. Luckily the Guanacaste region is a good enough tourist destination that I can use that trip as an excuse to visit the marvelous beaches we have down there. If I get the opportunity to meet with my sponsor before the end of year holidays I might try to sneak that into my schedule as well. My key takeaway from this experience relies on the fact that GMI is indeed a highly demanding program that will bring you to your limits, but it is through this experience that we can learn most about ourselves and our passions in Bioengineering. I personally hope I can also set up a few prospective student presentations in Costa Rica to share my experience so far, as this is encouraged by both the Office of International Students and Scholars through their REAP program, as well as the Office of Graduate Studies through their Ambassadors program.
On a final note as I am writing this on my flight to Costa Rica, any prospective student that is getting ready to submit their application for GMI should know that this program requires a fair amount of effort, but all of it is worth it. My body is tired from a long semester, and out of caution and common-sense I will override my workaholic nature and get some rest. With a few weeks rest I will be more than ready to bring on the final stretch which I’m sure will fly by in the blink of an eye.
The way this program is handled, no matter how tired you maybe you will always want to keep going until you achieve your own goals, both personal and academic alike. GMI is not only about learning, it is about creating, sharing and inspiring as well.