Student Spotlight: Matheus Ishizuka da Silva C’22

Matheus Ishizuka da Silva C’22

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in the city of Cuiaba, which is the capital of the state of Mato-Grosso in Brazil.

What attracted you to Drew?

I always dreamed of studying in the USA but the lack of opportunities and sufficient financial resources kept my feet on the ground knowing that the possibility of coming to the U.S. did not seem likely. However, everything changed when I had the opportunity to do high school in one of the best schools inn Brazil. Escola Sesc de Ensino Medio is a boarding school located in Rio de Janeiro which receives students from all states in the country and provides quality education and structures for student’s development entirely for free. Because this schools is internationally recognized for its revolutionary program of education, Drew has a partnership to receive one student from Escola Sesc every year and I was fortunate to receive this opportunity to study in the USA. I believe that rather than me choosing Drew as my college, Drew picked me to be its student.

Why did you choose International Relations and Business as your majors?

I was almost sure that I would study international relations because I am very interested in politics, did several projects with model UN in High School, and since the Political Science major would be too focused in American Politics, International Relations made more sense to me so that I could apply the concepts learned to different contexts around the world including the Brazilian. I declared the business major recently because I believe the concepts learned in Business courses will fit very nicely with the ones learned in my courses in international relations and increase my comprehension of how systems and governments work.

Did you have a dream job when you started at Drew?

I have never really dreamed of an ideal job position or career for my life, however, sometimes I joke with my friends that I would love to become the President of Brazil one day. Maybe in the next 40/50 years I could figure something out related to that…

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

I have had several classes with Dr. Raul Rosales for my Spanish minor and he has helped me several times in developing my college career and making the right choices during my time at Drew. He is always very supportive, nice and attentive and I am very grateful for having people like him around me.

Have you studied abroad? Done any short or nycTRECS?

I have done two NYC semesters so far. I first did the Semester on Social Entrepreneurship in the spring of 2020, during the second semester of my sophomore year, with Economics Professor Dr. Jennifer Olmsted. It was a great experience to commute to the city every week to learn about NGOs and private corporations with a social mission as well as having the opportunity to actually work with one of them. Professor Olmsted has an impressive knowledge of the field and I really appreciated the opportunity to join her program and learn from someone who understands so much about social entrepreneurship.

I then did the Semester on the United Nations during the first semester of my junior year in the fall of 2021 with Political Science professor Dr. Carlos Yordan. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this program was a little different with the online format and no visits to the UN headquarters in NYC. However, professor Yordan did a phenomenal job getting speakers who are currently working or have worked at the UN or are working in the international relations field to share their experiences and advice on how to succeed in the working market. He was also very helpful with the extensive research paper we had to write for the course and his knowledge and experience with the UN system helped me a lot and made this a great experience.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

I believe that without social and economic inclusion most of the issues in the world will not be solved. As long as we maintain this increasing inequality among nations and communities, people will continue to suffer around the world.

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew?

My favorite memories are definitely related to the friendships I made at Drew. I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and I love learning about our cultural differences as well as how they relate to each other in our current globalized and connected world.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

Time flies so enjoy Drew to the maximum while you still have time. Also, taking five classes every semester can be very helpful, especially during your last years in college when you are deciding on a major and you need sufficient credits to graduate.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I am still undecided about my future since I will need to make the big decision between staying in the US and going back to Brazil after graduation in May 2022. I believe that even though I am the central actor in this decision-making, it is something that does not depend only on me and the variables related are still a little blurry to make any affirmation about the future right now.


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