Juan Carlos Mejia, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, is currently seeking his Master of Science in Information Technology. Previously a data analyst in demographics and population studies, he wanted to have a better understanding of the software he used firsthand. He found that searching for a university that would provide him the flexibility he needed was more difficult than he had originally anticipated. That is, until he found ANU, where the international admissions counselors helped navigate Juan Carlos through this process. “I just had to submit the papers and they took care of everything.”
Hands-on practical training in the field of study has long been a hallmark of an ANU education, and is particularly important to international students. American National University offers Curriculum Practical Training (CPT), allowing students to work up to 40 hours per week for one year without affecting eligibility Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Through ANU’s free CPT program, Juan Carlos now helps guide other international students through the difficult process of applying to university as an international admissions representative for the University. “I’m very happy with what I’m doing: getting the chance to help someone else. I do it because the help I got changed my life.”
The importance of the CPT program cannot be undervalued as many international students cannot otherwise work within the United States. Being a student as well as parent, the ability to work is of great importance to Juan Carlos. “That’s why I love American National University. For me, it’s the greatest opportunity that I’ve ever had in the United States.” Other students have worked in such roles as accountants, software developers, business process analysts, or web developers.
The experience of CPT alongside the curriculum compliment each other, Juan Carlos said. “By learning work skills, you become a better student, and the knowledge from classes helps you to become a better worker.”
After graduating, Juan Carlos hopes to work for the World Bank in Washington D.C. “ANU is the best place to be if you are an international student. This is a university that allows you to develop yourself at your own pace. It gives us the chance that we need, not the one that other people want to give us.”
Juan Carlos is one of many international students who has enjoyed the benefits that the CPT program has to offer. To learn more about this program, click here.