Finding My Passion

Finding My Passion

Valentina Baccianella

Sticky Rice Service Adventure, Laos 2014 | From the Ground Up: A Seminar in International Development, Cambodia 2015 | Elephants and Amazing Thailand, 2016

Valentina is a Trade & Investment Associate for the UK Department of International Trade | Loyola Marymount University 2019 Graduate

All images and video provided by Valentina. Read and watch her story below!

- Rustic Pathways AlumniLast May, I graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations.

I now work for the British government; I am a Trade & Investment Associate in the creative industries sector for the UK Department of International Trade. I help advise UK companies coming to the US and vice versa. It is truly my dream job!

I studied International Relations for this very reason; to be able to do something like this. I studied and interned abroad during my 4 years of college which heavily influenced the line of work I wanted to pursue.

I knew early on in my college career that I wanted to pursue a career in something like international diplomacy, development, or business. Never did I think I would get what I wanted so quickly out of college!

All three of my Rustic experiences played a direct role in shaping my path. I loved every second of those experiences and came out of them with a profound and deeper understanding of the world and its issues surrounding it.

My Rustic trips are what influenced me to study something “international” in college. I didn’t know where I would end up, but I knew I loved what I was studying.

More often than not, I found myself researching and writing about topics that I had learned about on my Rustic trips. I took classes that were about international development and economics. I did internships at nonprofits that did work in underdeveloped countries.

All of these things, all of these decisions I made were a direct result of my early experiences with Rustic Pathways. I wouldn’t change anything for the world. Thank you!