Meet Our First Leonardo Fellow: Chapter 3 of 3

Determination, passion, an obstacle, more determination, more passion

Roadblocks are inevitable

I should mention to any fellow keen and passionate companion reading this, that there could be some hindrances on the road. Bureaucracy helps, but it is also very effective at slowing things down. I was supposed to arrive in Florida and start my fellowship in February. Thus, I had signed a lease with a lovely house, planned the weeks leading up to departure day, and a gigantic feeling of excitement. However, a new and sudden change of VISA regulations delayed my departure: at least 60 days to process the documents.

Just keep moving

I will not hide that I was upset at first; I was really excited at the idea of leaving soon and I lost that cute house I had booked to rent. It must be said though, it is absolutely not the end of the world, just a couple more months. I rolled up my sleeves and prepared to make up for this delay as I could. A very reassuring phone call with Dr. Capua also lifted my spirit, and she gave me plenty of thrilling tasks to do in the meantime. This era of fast technology also allowed me to start attending the weekly team meetings from thousands of kilometers away. Such interactions also cheered me up, as I met all the great people in the team, started to understand their dynamics, and worked with them how I could. I began writing my experience on this blog and being a physical mediator between the One Health Center and the Institute for Scientific Interchange in Turin. This came with a bonus: giving me the chance to live there with my best friend for a while!

What may look like big obstacles are small streams in your path. You just need to collect your patience, put your feet in the cold water, and cross them. The take home message: look out and be ready for bureaucracy, especially VISA processes, around every corner and behind every bush if you are embarking on a similar adventure. Tenacity and not losing focus are definitely key ingredients to keeping the right attitude.

Grab your future

This is me so far. I am mostly driven by passion, which, with the right amount of determination and constancy (yes, that is the meaning of my name), brought me here: preparing to leave for Florida in a few months and start working on what I have always wanted. I have been lucky, yes, to have done what I have done and to have entered in contact with such a keen, supportive, and proactive person as Dr. Capua. This is also for all my fellow “millennials”, those born so close to the 21st century. We have a lot, we were born with so much given and granted. However, it does not mean that we should just lay back and relax. If you really want to draw at least some lines of your future, go and grab it. You really never know what you might get if you try.

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