Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Post Experience: Victor Almeida, taking advantage of opportunities

Recent Post graduate and Brazilian native Victor Almeida wanted to go where the opportunities were. Now that he’s made it there, he wants to make sure he stays.

Almeida graduated from Post University in May with two degrees, a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Marketing.  As an international student he had the option to stay an additional year following graduation and work off-campus to complete optional practical training (OPT). He achieved a temporary hire position and is currently working as an Inside Sales Representative at Phillips, a technology company in Stamford, CT, providing medical materials to local dental professionals.

“I want to go wherever the chances are to grow,” said Almeida. “That’s here in the United States and I was lucky enough to find employment right out of school.”

Athletics profile photo of Victor Almeida.
Almeida ran track and cross country
during his time at Post. 
Originally from Anapolis, in the state of Goias, in Brazil, the cross country and track athlete came to the United States during high school. He followed in his sister Barbara’s footsteps, whom also attended Post and graduated in 2012.  

“You don’t feel like you’re an international student at Post,” said Almeida. “There is already so much diversity and everyone is so accepting that there isn’t anyone that doesn’t fit in on campus.”

Professionally, his hard work in earning two Post degrees helped him acquire his current position at Phillips. Socially, Almeida credits the small class sizes and close knit community at Post as a major reason why he became adjusted to life in the United States.

“With the size of the school you really get to know everyone,” he said. “All the students are very close, all of your professors know you by name, even the President knew me by name. It motivates you to do well and to succeed because everyone is paying attention and everyone is trying to help you so much.”

Almeida also took advantage of the fact that students studying abroad in the United States may be employed by the college or university they are attending.  Knowing this was a great way to gain work experience, Almeida worked in the Learning Center all four years he was at Post. This enabled him to not only obtain employment experience, but also a state identification card and social security number.

“It was very helpful that Post gave me an opportunity for employment,” he said. “Not only to have a job and earn experience, but to be able to reap the benefits of being employed in the US.”

Almeida’s goal is to stay in America and become sponsored by an employer. He is also eager to continue his education by earning a master’s degree.

“You can never go wrong with higher education,” he said. “Ideally I’d love to find a company that would pay for me to go back and get my master’s.”