In May 2022, UC Berkeley’s GLOBE Ambassadors embarked on an exciting journey to Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada! Engineering students and GLOBE Ambassadors Paige Lyles and Rucha Acholkar were interviewed about their experiences on the trip as well as what they learned.
Please tell me a little bit about yourself (educational background – major, hobbies, interests, anything you would like to share with our Berkeley engineering community?)
Paige: My name is Paige and I am currently a 4th year Civil Engineering student at UC Berkeley. I was actually a transfer student from Diablo Valley Community College (in Pleasanton) and am a T-PREP alum. I enjoy singing and traveling! Something cool about me is that I am the co-founder of Hebee – a UC Berkeley startup!
Rucha: I am Rucha Acholkar, currently a 3rd year EECS major at UC Berkeley. A fun fact is that I earned my Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Technology from the Sutardja Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET) program here at UC Berkeley. In my free time, I enjoy going to basketball games (Go Bears!) and exploring cafes!
What made you interested in joining the GLOBE Ambassador team?
Paige: The first time I heard about GLOBE was in Berkeley’s Transfer Pre-Engineering Program (T-Prep). Just for some background, T-Prep is a Berkeley program that helps incoming transfer students transition to Berkeley Engineering through courses, workshops, networking and advising. T-PREP’s director Tiffany Reardon told me about the program.
Because I am interested in business and international affairs, GLOBE seemed like a perfect fit. I was initially interested in the MET program, but because transfer students are not eligible to apply, GLOBE provided me with the business experience I sought. Now I am working to complete my SCET certificate which I wouldn’t have considered before participating in the program. Something I appreciated about the GLOBE program was that it was fully-funded, with the goal of making international education and travel more accessible to students.
Rucha: I was drawn to the GLOBE program as it combined business and engineering with a global experience. Due to my interests in business and engineering, I was curious about how global perspectives influenced technology and business around the world and GLOBE provided the resources for me to explore that.
What was your favorite part about the trip?
Paige: My favorite part about the GLOBE trip was being able to explore a new city with peers. My fellow GLOBE Ambassadors and I became close quickly on the trip as we experienced this new opportunity together. I still keep in touch with a few of them today, almost a year later.
Of the visits we made,I especially enjoyed the one to Boeing in Everett, Washington. Since I am a civil engineer, going inside an airplane and studying the various structures was a hands-on experience I truly valued and will never forget.
Rucha: My favorite part of the trip was the people. I really enjoyed getting to apply my classroom experience in the real world setting through GLOBE’s classroom business and tech education with the support of my GLOBE Ambassador peers as well as getting to meet inspiring people along the way. Overall, the experience overall truly shaped my perspective as a global engineer.
What was something that surprised you about the trip/traveling to Vancouver BC (Canada) and Seattle?
Paige: The first thing that I noticed when I traveled to Vancouver was the impressive infrastructure. It exemplified how an urban city can be clean, bicycle-friendly, and overall a positive environment. It was refreshing to be in a coastal town that had such distinct infrastructure.
Something else that I was impressed by was how museums recounted history. They were honest and took accountability for wrong-doings made and put forth a conscious effort to include the input of First Nations people, who were indigenous to the area, in their exhibits. Many countries still have a ways to go when it comes to reparative actions and I was happy to see Canada making the important first steps in the right direction with the partnerships formed to improve relations.
Rucha: In Canada, I found that many were very open in discussing the history of the land of the First Nations, where much of Vancouver now stands. It was interesting to me to see how in Canada there is awareness spread about the Native American ties to the land and their continuous active efforts in maintaining good relations with the First Nations people. I also enjoyed learning about how the diverse cultures of Canada shaped Vancouver to be the city it is today, from both the cultural and industry perspectives.
What are the qualifications necessary for a GLOBE Ambassador?
Paige: After applying to the GLOBE Ambassadors Program, students are selected by a College of Engineering committee. Regarding qualifications, all departments in the College of Engineering are considered and the program addresses technology innovation broadly across industry fields to expose students to the range of career opportunities they may not have previously considered or encountered.
Rucha: The qualifications of a GLOBE Ambassador is to have a passion for learning! Being open to exploring new ideas and having the curiosity to extend classroom knowledge into the real world are the only requirements to having a successful experience as a GLOBE Ambassador.
Would you recommend joining GLOBE to other students?
Paige: I 100% recommend joining GLOBE to other students! Undergraduate education is so technical and I believe in having a well-rounded education. I think everyone should have a little bit of a liberal arts and humanities education, which includes learning more about business concepts as well.
I valued the GLOBE trip, but I also thought that the bootcamp GLOBE held 6 weeks before was just as important. In bootcamp, we would sit down and go through business case studies. We were divided into teams and paired with an International Taiwanese startup, which enabled us to learn more about their culture.
I credit GLOBE for giving me the confidence and encouragement to facilitate my own startup Hebee! GLOBE gave me the exposure to pursue that. Overall, I would say the GLOBE Ambassador program is a great chance to get international exposure that we should all have. Sometimes, we are caught up in our world in America – everyone should get some exposure to the outside world.
Rucha: I would definitely recommend GLOBE to other students! The full GLOBE experience (bootcamp and the trip) not only allows you to extend classroom knowledge into international industry, but it also enhances your global perspective, which is important to have as one transitions from college into the real world.
The overall education and cultural experience GLOBE provides has not only contributed to my well-rounded education and global perspective, but it has also allowed me to grow both personally and professionally in the way I approach problems as an engineer.