By Faith Potetti, DLE Content Creation Intern, Chicago, IL
Many people found extra time during lockdowns to accomplish long-overdue tasks or find a hobby. DLE member Julia Kirst wrote a book.
She began the discipline of writing an hour a day in October 2020. The result of her routine is a just-published book that helps international business audiences learn and adapt to American cultural concepts and business practices. Titled What The United States Wants: An Essential Roadmap for International Candidates Applying for Study, Work, and Visa Opportunities, Julia’s book is a resource that readers can use time and time again.
“I didn’t have a burning desire to write a book. But through my work, I realized that I was developing a kind of knowledge that could be very valuable for a wider audience,” notes Julia, a familiar face at DLE Culture Chat and Breakfast Club programs.
She made the career pivot to business owner after 15 years of teaching at various colleges and universities, most recently Simon’s Rock at Bard College in the Berkshires. Her specialty was helping international students learn the deep culture of the United States. Deep culture refers to the intangible aspects of a country or culture, such as beliefs, ideas and traditions.
Originally from Brazil but living in the US since 1997, Julia knew that there were large cultural differences that Brazilians would be unaware of if they were international applicants in the U.S. Julia’s book fills a knowledge gap for professionals in all industries who want to work in America by covering cultural concepts and practical matters for succeeding in an organization.
Consider, for example, the resume. In Brazil, people have lengthy resumes because they want to accentuate every accomplishment, and they take pride in them. However, in the U.S., less is more; and most resumes are a maximum of two pages. “These are some of the hurdles that international applicants have to face. It’s an unspoken part of culture that others may not know,” she explains. “What I do is I bring the unspoken up to the surface so they can see it, recognize it and use it in their application process.”
Julia says the feeling of belonging to a welcoming community is what makes her an active participant of virtual and in-person programs. “Every member of the DLE has the honest desire to lift everybody up,” she shares. “They help each other grow and genuinely try to support each other. That is the precedent set by the DLE founder (Linda Dulye) that all members follow.”
For any creatives hoping to accomplish something, her advice is: Discipline greases the wheels that turn thought into an action. It doesn’t have to be an hour a day, she suggests, but do something. Otherwise, you may never get that great idea out there. “When you feel happy creating, that moment becomes precious, and you want more of it.”
Julia’s big day is fast approaching. What The United States Wants: An Essential Roadmap for International Candidates Applying for Study, Work, and Visa Opportunities will be published in April 2022.