It's a beautiful Sunday in Niles (Fremont, Ca). I meet up with our next guest, Jackie Bueno. We enjoy our iced coffee at Devout Coffee, chat about her goals and her involvement with Pinay Aspirations. Pinay Aspirations is an organization that promotes and supports the advancement of Filipinas in the Bay Area. I was able to attend the organization's gala this year and was interested in learning more about their work. Not only do they award scholarships, but provide mentorship program to guide awardees through out the year. Jackie was matched with Maria Luntao as her Mentor. She is currently a Junior at UC Berkeley and majoring in Political Economy. Jackie's positive outlook and focus will no doubt lead her to success. We chat about her values, goals and her experience as a Pinay Aspirations scholarship recipient. CHI opens up it's featured guests to a variety of community members at all stages and walks of life. Read on to learn more about Jackie Bueno.
The Coffeehouse Invite: Hi Jackie! Great to finally meet you here at Devout Coffee. Tell us what you are currently doing. (work, school, life, hobbies...etc…)
Jackie Bueno: I am a junior at UC Berkeley and study Political Economy. I am currently trying to pursue a career in either business or law and am recruiting for my coveted internship now.
The Coffeehouse Invite: What are your career goals?
Jackie Bueno: My career goals include getting a job in consulting, and then pursuing a career in private equity afterwards.
The Coffeehouse Invite: What helps you stay focused on your goals?
Jackie Bueno: What helps me stay focused on my goals is creating a vision board, and reflecting every week on what worked for me towards working for my goals and what didn't. For instance, I didn't get the first internship opportunity I interviewed for and was really bummed, but now that I have more time to reflect on what I can do, I plan on taking more time to look on Handshake after this weekend, and continue searching for more internships.
The Coffeehouse Invite: How has your Nicaraguan and Filipino background shape you into the person you are today? What are some of the values you learned from your culture?
Jackie Bueno: Firstly, I realized that now that I’m in college, no matter what race or ethnicity a person is, everyone is born with a certain personality, and their ethnicity and cultural upbringing, depending on the levels of acculturation of their parents, shapes their identity. For example, both of my parents are immigrants from Nicaragua and the Philippines. Because they came here in high school, I definitely think this is why they have been so open to me adopting American values while also adopting cultural norms from their cultures in comparison to children whose parents immigrated much later in their adulthood who find it harder to assimilate to American culture. For instance, I feel like I've adopted some of their cultural values such as inclusiveness, family, and compassion into my life, but I've also adopted American values such as prioritizing finding a career in my 20’s over finding a spouse and spending time with family and friends. I’m grateful for the foundation my parents have laid for me and have such an appreciation for both of my cultural backgrounds, but I honestly do struggle with compromising the two cultures and find myself struggling more than ever as of now in a school that celebrates diversity but does not have much of it to celebrate it adequately.
The Coffeehouse Invite: How has the Pinay Aspirations Scholarship impacted your life?
Jackie Bueno: Pinay Aspirations has impacted my life in ways academically and personally. Being around women who have the same values as I do, prioritizing their careers before finding a spouse and valuing academic achievement, while staying loyal to their Filipino culture, one that appreciates kindness, respect, and giving back to others, has provided a crutch to me when I couldn't find these same values in my own Filipino side of the family due to our differences in socioeconomic and political status. I am forever grateful for meeting these women, and encourage young Filipina women to apply for a scholarship to get the lucky opportunity to meet these women too!
The Coffeehouse Invite: What is a piece of advice that your mentor, Maria gave, that has stuck with you?
Jackie Bueno: Maria has always given excellent advice, so not sure if this question will be an easy one to answer! But I don't think it was the advice she has given that has been helpful, but rather the way she's made me feel after giving advice. The popular quote, “It’s not what you say but how you make people feel.” definitely applies to the advice Maria gave to me, because she is always able to listen to me objectively and give me advice accordingly whereas most people are unable to do this consistently and correctly.
The Coffeehouse Invite: You've also given advice on finding a career path. Can you elaborate on how that helped you choose your career path and educational goals in your life?
Jackie Bueno: All my life I always identified as someone who is proud of challenging the close-minded assumptions I hold, so consequently, that mindset motivated me to seek positions of leaderships and careers that hold a lot of responsibility. I honestly don't know if I want a career in either business or politics, but I know I want to do something in either field that will evoke change.
The Coffeehouse Invite: As a Pinay Aspirations mentee, you mentioned you would like to be involved as a mentor in the future. Any other words of wisdom you would like to shed for others trying to achieve their goal?
Jackie Bueno: Observe what works for you and what doesn’t. Always self reflect and never let your setbacks prevent you from achieving what you want.
The Coffeehouse Invite: Tell us how you found out about Pinay Aspirations and the application process for those interested in applying.
Jackie Bueno: I found out about Pinay Aspirations from my high school scholarship coordinator. They had an online application, I filled it out, and was emailed to interview with them a couple of weeks later.
The Coffeehouse Invite: At CHI, we encourage others to reach out and find people to collaborate with. Are you looking for anyone to work with? If so let, our CHI community know.
Jackie Bueno: Yeah, if there's anyone who wants to collaborate in Pinay Aspirations, then let me know! I’m always down to meet someone new and tackle a new project!