Mayinett Rodes is one spicy Latina woman. She is from Mexico and her personality and character are as spicy as the food. She says what’s on her mind, loves spicy food and can dance like only a true Mexican woman can. She was one of BridgeEnglish Denver’s executive students in the new Business English course until mid-October. Mayi, as she likes to be called, decided to take a much-needed vacation from her stressful job as a financial advisor in Veracruz, Mexico, and come to the United States to study English. We were glad she chose Bridge because she added a lot of charisma and well, spice (for lack of a better word), to the classes and atmosphere here at BridgeEnglish. She lends a unique perspective on what it is like to be a female in a male oriented business world.
AB: Tell me about yourself
MR: I am from Veracruz, Mexico. I am a financial advisor at Mexican bank, Banorte Ixe. I work in the stock market. I have been working there for 15 years and, in the last few years, the market has been getting very complicated and the economy has not been doing very well. So, after thinking about it a lot, I decided it was a good time to come to the US to perfect my English.
AB: What experience with English did you have before?
MR: All schools in Mexico have English classes and we learn English in primary and secondary schools as well as at university, but the problem is that we don’t get very many opportunities to actually speak nor listen to English. It is mostly learning grammar. The English education in Mexico is not very good and is pretty basic. For this reason, I wanted to go to an English speaking country where I could fully immerse myself in the language.
AB: But when you came here to Bridge, your English was already very advanced. How did you learn?
MR: Two years ago, I studied for one year at another English school in Mexico and there I had the opportunity to actually listen to English and speak it a lot with the teachers and other students. I really wanted to get better and so I pushed myself and studied and spoke as much as I could while in class. It was a good experience but I knew that, if I really wanted to improve, then I would have to go to an English speaking country.
AB: Why did you choose to come to the US and, more specifically, why did you choose Bridge for your school?
MR: I first looked on the Internet for schools in the US and I found a school in Seattle, Washington. I was interested in Washington because I have family there and the state is very beautiful. However, when I arrived at the school, I thought it was horrible and I was very disappointed. It looked nothing like it did on its website. I was literally there one day and I left. That is how bad it was. So I was sad because I didn’t know what to do. Some of the other schools I looked at were also not very good. Then I talked to my boyfriend and he had actually been in Denver once when he was younger for a soccer tournament and he suggested I look there because Colorado is a beautiful state, very open with a good climate. I found Bridge on the Internet and the international sales coordinator, Josh Mickelson, was very nice and sent me information the very same day. After talking to him, I decided that Bridge would be a perfect fit and so I left Washington the next day and came to Denver. I am so glad that I did.
AB: Had you ever been to the US before?
MR: Yes – Las Vegas, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles but only for vacation, so it was never more than a week.
AB: How do you like Colorado?
MR: I love it! The people here are very friendly. It is a safe city. I love the mountains and nature and there are so many things to do here. I have been to many places in the mountains like Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs and Boulder and I have visited some museums and the downtown area is very nice, full of bars and clubs. I also went to Garden of the Gods and shopped at Castle Rock Outlet Mall.
AB: How was your experience at Bridge?
MR: It was extraordinary. I loved every second of it. From the first day, everyone here was so nice and helpful. I also liked the fact that there were more people here my age, in their 30s. Many of the schools that I researched mostly catered to younger students in their teens so it was nice to have a peer group here. The friends I made are wonderful. The materials and books we used were very good also. I was in the new business program and there we learned a lot about the economy and the different markets. We read and discussed articles and learned new business vocabulary every day, which was very useful. We also learned about the business cultures of different countries. Every country has its own unique business customs that might be completely different from your own country, so learning about that is really interesting. The teachers are very good and have specialized skills in grammar or business or pronunciation and we had a chance to talk a lot during our discussions in class.
AB: What has been your favorite part about Bridge?
MR: I would have to say that the diversity of people from different cultures and countries was a great part of Bridge. I loved learning about all of the different customs from all over the world and I made wonderful friends from all over the world too. Now I have places to stay in Europe, Japan, South America, Kuwait, many places! I socialized a lot, going to bars and clubs and restaurants with all my new friends.
AB: What are your plans for when you return to Mexico?
MR: I will continue with my financial advising job. But I also have a dream to open up a beauty supply shop in the future. I like my financial advising job but it is very stressful and I have been doing it for so long. It is time for a change and I really enjoy the business of beauty and beauty products and so to have my own store would be terrific.
(Editor note: Mayi tells us she aims to start her own beauty business in February)
AB: Would you recommend Bridge to other people?
MR: Of course I would! It was an invaluable experience for me, not only the classes and the learning but also the opportunity to meet so many great people. I learned so much and I miss all of my friends a lot but I know that I will keep in touch with them via the Internet and see them again some day. I hope to come back to Colorado some day and maybe even take more classes at Bridge. But this experience was great. I definitely think that, if you want to learn English in the US, then Bridge is the place to go.