From grad to grad: Advice from decades of EARTH alumni

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: December 20th, 2019

Each December, hundreds of people come to EARTH University to celebrate a newly graduating class of fresh-faced leaders of change. With warm gratitude and heads held high, these new graduates are preparing themselves for their next stage as professionals in a challenge-filled world.

Picture of men hugging during a ceremony. Indoors

EARTH alumns during the 2019 Graduation Ceremony

The Encuentro de Generaciones (Class Reunions) is an annual event convening the EARTH cohorts who are celebrating a five-year-increment anniversary. This year, EARTH welcomed graduates from the classes of 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. After participating in several activities, catching up with one another and strengthening their cross-class support networks, they joined the Class of 2019 at the Graduation Ceremony. After reliving their cherished university memories and early professional experiences in agricultural science, they shared encouraging messages for the newest alumni.

Picture of a woman smilling holding a flag. Trees on the back

María Ivelisse Ramírez

María Ivelisse Ramírez (’94, Dominican Republic):

“Hold on to your principled morals and family values. Believe in yourself, especially in the first year, as massive challenges come your way.”

Alejandro Agüero Velázquez (’99, Honduras):

“There will be times when you feel you know everything; there will be times when you feel you know nothing. Keep in mind that science and technology are evolving increasingly rapidly. Because of that, we must nurture a spirit of continuous improvement personally and socially. Our greatest quality is learning to learn.

Picture of a man smilling. Trees on the back

Alejandro Agüero

May you desire not to ‘have’ but to ‘be’. If you strive to ‘be’ first, ‘having’ will be a complement that persists. Do not expect to be a good professional without first being a good person.” 

Gustavo Murillo (’04, Costa Rica):

“Congratulations for completing this stage in your professional development. I welcome you, as new colleagues, to a very interesting professional world. You decided to study at EARTH because you have a mission. Try to be the best in your field. Look for chances to diversify and become well-rounded in your work and professional life. Seek help from your EARTH brothers and sisters, take advantage of all the connections and opportunities you have from being with people from more than 40 countries. Make professional, labor and business ties. Take advantage of all these possibilities. You will realize that the step you took at graduation is only the first step in a great professional life.”

Adalice Drakeford (’09, Paraguay):

Picture of a woman smilling. A big garden on the back

Adelice Drakeford

“Looking back 10 years, I was in the same situation as you, asking myself: What should I do now? After graduating, I decided to do an internship in the U.S. horticultural industry. The work was hard, but the reward came years later. At the end of the internship, I returned to my country and sought employment for several months without any success. Then I found work with the Ministry of Agriculture as a technical adviser and as a professor. This experience demanded a lot of sacrifices, but it was highly rewarding. Today, I am working in an industry I really like: floriculture. Find what you love and, above all, be humble throughout the journey. Work will occupy a huge part of your life, and the only way to feel satisfied is to love what you do.”

Picture of people smilling indoors

Miguel Ángel Hernández (bottom)

Miguel Ángel Hernández Ponce (’14, Mexico):

“Never stop learning in any area of life. Never lose the essence of service that characterizes us as EARTH alumni.”

EARTH graduates form long-lasting bonds by becoming reliable sources of professional contact and mutual support and by championing one another. Our Alumni Relations Office creates spaces for the strengthening of these invaluable relationships among EARTH-educated changemakers.