Alumna embraces her potential thanks to GL program

This story was written by Gisela Valencia before the coronavirus pandemic began and before the “new normal” started.

Cindy Makita-Dodd ’18 has seen firsthand the damage gender inequality can cause. Originally from South Africa, she came to FIU with a vision to empower women in her home country and in her new home, Miami.

Thoughts of impacting the entire world, though, seemed a bit far-fetched to the international business major – until she got involved with the Global Learning (GL) program. She dove into globally oriented courses, journeyed to India with a business honor society to empower women from a local village and took an internship with the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group).

She learned many things. The biggest one: “The world is really at the palm of your hand,” Makita said. “My impact, although it can be locally focused has the potential to have global impact.”

The revelation was eye-opening. Today, Makita is working to leave her footprint in the world. Besides running her own company as a career coach to help people around the globe land their dream jobs, Makita has become a mover and shaker in the advocacy scene. She is currently on the board of the United Nations Association’s Miami Chapter, which works to support the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.

“Global Learning gave me that international perspective that I could go beyond borders, that the world can really be in arms’ reach if you are open to that possibility,” she said. “My work now centers around global impact.”

She added that everyone, and especially students who don’t have an international perspective as they begin their studies, should take advantage of the GL program. It could just help them discover what they’re meant to do in life. Take it from a career coach.

With alumni like these, Hilary Landorf, the director of the GL program, says the future is bright.

“Unlike what one hears in the news about apathy in young people,” she explains, “students really do care about the world. The GL program really recognizes this need for students to care and be part of something larger than themselves and to be part of solution-making. I’m so proud of our students, what they gain from GL and how they use it in their everyday lives.”

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