Originally from Albania, Juli Cara enrolled at SBCC after being in the United States for only one year. She was able to adjust to college life immediately thanks to the help of the International Students office, and the amazing student body, staff, and faculty. Today, Juli uses her global studies education in her work at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
Who: Juli Cara
Profession: Manager, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
How long were you at SBCC? 3 years
What was your focus while at SBCC? Global Studies and Political Science
Best Memory? Being the first international student to receive the President’s Scholarship from the SBCC Foundation.
How did the SBCC experience influence your professional path? When I started at SBCC, I had only lived in the United States for one year. I had just moved from Albania, and like most teenagers I was trying to acclimate. I was amazed at the diversity of the student body, staff, and faculty at SBCC. The International Students office was incredibly helpful, and I was able to adjust almost immediately. I always knew I was interested in international relations/development. During my second semester I took a United Nations class with Dr. Haslund. After that I took a Comparative Politics class with Dr. Eskandari, followed by a Global Studies course with Dr. Haslund. To this day, I feel very lucky to have received so much support, guidance, and inspiration from everyone I interacted with at SBCC.
What are you doing now? I currently work at the Emerging Markets Practice at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Prior to that, I worked at the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank, and AECOM International Development. In my career, I have focused on providing strategy analysis and economic feasibility assessments for infrastructure projects to private and public-sector clients in several countries worldwide. Throughout the years, I have traveled close to 40 countries and have truly enjoyed experiencing different cultures, traditions, and getting to meet people from all over the world.
How are you making an impact on the world? There were two main reasons why I wanted to have a career in international development: 1) making an impact (however small) — wanting to help and empower others worldwide to have access to what we take for granted in the developed world; 2) gaining experience of different cultures, having a broader perspective, and viewing the world from a different lens. For over 10 years, I have worked for some of the largest international development agencies in the world. This has given me an opportunity to work on projects in many regions, interact with people from all over the world, understand their struggles and constraints, and help them to identify opportunities to improve their lives. In addition, I also volunteer for different organizations that focus on alleviating poverty in the United States and abroad. It is amazing to see what a difference a dollar can make.
Why is SBCC an important educational institution for the Santa Barbara community? SBCC gave me amazing opportunities at a young age. The diversity of the student body, staff, and caring faculty makes SBCC a great place to learn and grow both personally and professionally. SBCC provides an excellent academic platform, it caters to a variety of demographics and needs, it is flexible and affordable, and it provides opportunities so everyone can succeed. Last, but not least, it sits on a beautiful hill overlooking the ocean. You can’t help but feel inspired!
Are you proud to be a Vaquero Alumni? One hundred percent yes! I will always be proud of being a Vaquero alum. THANK YOU SBCC!!!