I thought that my biggest failure was coming back to the Dominican Republic, after studying in the United States. I was admitted to Northwood University in West Palm Beach, with a tennis scholarship. After I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems, I was offered a job at a Microsoft partner company in Boca Raton.
It was a rare opportunity for an international student and a chance for me to complete my Optional Practical Training (OPT), available to foreign students after they graduate. I could eventually apply for a U.S. permanent residence and later become a citizen. The decision should have been a no brainer. I could have been living and working in a country with unlimited opportunities and earn a much better salary, compared to the DR.
The trade-off was to not go back to the DR for over a year during the course of my OPT and until I got a permanent job offer from the company.
The thought of not being able to see my family for such a long time made me nervous and I took this as a sign that I had to return to my home country. Family is very important to me. I was very happy about my decision in the beginning, but as I started my new life back in the DR, I was struck by the lack of general education, the low wages for entry-level professionals and the overall challenges in a developing country.
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Within three months of being back, I got a job offer from Microsoft (not the partner company in Boca Raton), here in the DR! This ended up being a life-changing experience, which would later catapult me towards where I am today.
“Being in my native country has also given me the opportunity to make a difference locally, where a LOT of help is needed.
I believe that each individual defines success differently. Success to me is to be able to remain grounded during difficult times.
It’s to make a difference in at least one person’s life while on earth and to let go of personal biases and negative experiences from the past in order to be a better human being.
My failures allowed me to see parts of me that weren’t so pretty.
“Most of my failures showed me that what I needed the most was to give myself the permission to be myself.
Permission to trust my instincts and to be kind to myself throughout this journey. And through this understanding, I was able to quit a job that I didn’t enjoy, and go for one that aligned with my personal values and beliefs. Finally, I was able to build up the courage to understand that I, too, can make a difference. Today, I am brave enough to make an impact myself, instead of observing and admiring from a distance at what other people are doing. It wasn’t an easy lesson, and it didn’t happen in one day but it was valuable and I cherish it. For me failure equals growth.
I feel a 360-degree change. I used to give myself a very hard time every time I failed. I told myself that I could do better, and I felt both guilt and shame. Mostly because I was worrying about failing other people, instead of looking inside myself and thinking about how I had failed myself.
When I was younger, I never looked back at failure to reflect and learn from it. I was worried about what others would think, how many doors would close for me, and feared I would be able to move on after such a bad move.
Today, when I fail it is because I am failing myself.
Just like with success, there are endless definitions of failure. And one has to understand what it means for us. Have I let myself down here? Why did I do it? How can I learn from this? Did I hurt someone else? This is something I strive for and practice everyday, and it has been one of my biggest and most important challenges in growing to be a much healthier and happier individual and a better professional.
Girls in Tech needs you, just as you are
Log into the member portal
Not a member? Sign up
It's quick, simple, and free
Already a member? Log in
For more localized content and events, select a chapter near you:
How many years of experience do you have in the tech space?
If other, please specify
Drag and drop files or browse
Supported formats: JPEG and PNG
Or, select an illustration:
Select as many as you like, or skip if none apply to you