How an Instagram post changed my personal and professional life.

I found out about YLAI through Instagram. It was a post from the US Embassy in Caracas, which I follow due to the nature of my job — I am the director of an educational travel agency and I provide support with study abroad programs, tickets and visas.

It was late one night when I saw the post… A program from Entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean. I didn’t think of applying the first time, but it did caught my attention and I immediately started looking for more information online. The more I read, the more I realized that I actually met all the criteria to apply, so… why not?

I filled the form for almost an hour, and you’re going to read this and think ‘Bullsh*t’, but the fact is that when I was almost done with the -very- long form, I lost everything because I clicked somewhere and I hadn’t saved a thing. And this is legit.

I felt really frustrated and went to bed. The next day the YLAI Application was on my mind again, and that afternoon I decided to start over. Application deadline was the next day, so I better started working — which I did.

It was very exciting to receive an email months later, telling me I had been pre-selected and was going to be Skype interviewed. WOW. I started preparing my pitch and getting ready for the interview. And the day arrived. I was very nervous, and to be honest I didn’t feel very secure when it ended, I thought I had had many errors, I thought my pronunciation could have been better… I wasn’t sure about my place in the program, but I felt happy because I had done it!

Months later, an email entered to my inbox and I wasn’t surprised to read that I hadn’t been accepted to YLAI. It made me really sad. But they mentioned something about being selected if someone dropped off. So I gave it a shot and sent all the information they asked me. About a week later, SURPRISE! I got an email saying there is a place for me in YLAI!

During my trip, I had the chance to experience a truly professional immersion in Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland) and to meet new cities in the US—cities I had never been before! I also met amazing people in the academic field, international field, national field, entrepreneurship field, and so on! This experience gave me the tools I needed to take my business to the next level, and it strengthened my social and professional network.

Did I know this Instagram photo could change my life so unexpectedly? Oh, never. But this App has power, that I learned. Never underestimate an Instagram post, is my advice.