Fall 2015 Ford Global Scholars Luncheon

Fall 2015 Ford Global Scholars Luncheon

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Christian Holm
December 08, 2015

Ford Vice President of Government and Community Relations Ziad Ojakli met The Washington Center’s fall 2015 Ford Global Scholars on Friday, Nov.20.


Ford’s generous partnership with TWC has provided scholarships for nearly 200 highly qualified students from around the world. Friday’s luncheon was an opportunity for students to ask Ojakli some questions about his career path - and a chance for Ojakli to learn more about how the scholarship impacted their career decisions as the semester draws to a close.


So what was Ojakli’s advice to students?


“Don’t chase money,” he said. “Do what you love and be good at what you do and the money will find you. You’ve taken such a huge step just by making it this far and putting yourself through a rigorous program – don’t ever let go of the things you are passionate about.”


When Ojakli asked the group how they’ve made the most of their opportunities this semester, the response was overwhelmingly focused on career progress and the clarification that an academic internship provide.


One of those students is Monica Fernandez, a student at Florida International University and intern at the Department of Labor. Just a few weeks ago, Fernandez awarded U.S Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) with the Pillar Award for Professional Achievement at TWC’s Gala 2015 (link). In just a few more weeks, she will begin as a full time Staff Assistant in Sen. Nelson’s office on Capitol Hill. When asked what she thought the biggest advantage of interning in D.C is, her answer was simple: Access.


“This city is way more accessible than I ever would have thought and that’s something I took advantage of from day one, knowing that it would pay off in a big way,” she said.


Future leaders of international community development are preparing for their careers through The Washington Center. Ford Motor Company Global Scholars gain professional skills through an internship, take an evening course, and participate in programming that helps them build international awareness. Throughout the fall semester, they explore ways in which they can contribute to the welfare of their communities and gain tools they will need to help advance social issues in a global environment. Ford Global Scholars center their work on advancing international development. The program also promotes the exchange of cultural knowledge and skills and provides a platform for structured conversation.

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