October Women. Alejandra Ruiz

October Women II

Nacho Eguiarte Interviews

Alejandra Ruiz – Social Worker

Chief Training Officer at CECATI #190


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ALEJANDRA RUIZ

MUJERES DE OCTUBRE

Not just from professional organizers October Women is nurtured, there are women to whom I have been friend for a long time, women I consider myself role models, that’s the reason I wanted to interview a dearly friend who, in a way, contributes to build the foundations of our nation’s future through her labor.

Before we start, who is Alejandra Ruiz?

I’m a Social Worker by trade who got involved by chance into the education field, falling in love with it. I’m a dreamer also I’ve got my feet on the ground, opinionated, very confident with my choices, and I try hard every single day to behave according my believes and thoughts.

For many years you’ve been involved with the technical work training system. What do you think people need to know about this kind of education offer?

Without doubts, this type of training isn’t widely known. With these work oriented programs the students will acquire skills focused to the job market or could update their knowledge in the area of expertise. This is a non-traditional school system, it’s not rigid, that means you can choose only one course or several, the only requirement is being older than 15 years. The courses are 80% practical so in short time the student develops skills, abilities and attitudes towards a good performance in qualify jobs.

Without falling into controversial statements about the education issue, what would you highlight as key elements to have better quality education?   

Commitment! It’s so sad witnessing the terrible shape the education system is in general. As student first and now as part of the system, I noticed common flaw is the lack of commitment, in some cases, teachers lost respect for the job they do, just looking at it as a wages source, showing no passion for teach, disregarding the fact they have a huge responsibility training, educating and developing the students’ consciousness. On the other hand, parents aren’t committed to support the teachers, they make no follow-up upon the students’ education, giving up responsibilities, transferring them to the teachers on infusing values, duties and ethics. But, the most horrifying is nowadays, students are full of apathy upon their own education process, have little interest on their future life, many of them, don’t even have a life plan; taking for granted food, shelter, clothes or even privileges like tech toys just for the sake of exist. Also dated study plans, bad equipment and out of shape classrooms, is an everyday reality and make hard the learning process.

How parents’ full commitment could impact in a good way to reach a good quality learning model?

It’s huge and it’s vital as I mentioned, is in home and not in classroom where values born, nurture and transfer to the kids and young children, there you can incept self-stem and a positive plan for life. Having those ingredients, our job as mentors and teachers will be transcendental, with them, the learning process will have a purpose and not just an annoying requirement to keep the privileges mom and dad provide. Talking about the education system I work in, CECATI (Center Of Capacitation for Industrial Work), it is very common the family chief comes and enroll the son or daughter with this poor argument, “I don’t want him/her being lazy at home” without incepting in their children a development desire, so at the end of the course you’ll end up with a scholar failure.

We have in Mexico this saying “With the teacher, without the teacher and despite the teacher” Our students need to realize about that sentence. What advice could you grant them so they turn over their educative process if feel it deficient?

Well, I rather invite them to get reflexive about the choices they’re making today because those generate an outcome in the future they will call life; so, it’s very important taking accountability on their own learning process, assuming control and taking advantage of resources and materials, not getting stuck just with the knowledge acquired in the classroom. Having hunger for researching in every possible source of knowledge, especially nowadays a huge deal of information is all over internet.

My admiration goes to anyone who works in education, at all levels. We own them so much. In your particular case, do you have any kind of retribution working is such a noble activity?

I have so many joy in doing this job, I remember very fondly stories about people who came to knock CECATI’s doors, coming from scholar failure, unemployment, dysfunctional families, and at the moment they enrolled are putting their trust in our hands, to helping them overcome their circumstances and reach better lives. Being part of that transformation, being with them meanwhile the process of a life changing is worthy. One case jumping in to my mind, was a teenager probably 19 years old he was attending automobile mechanics courses. At some point I had to take him off a solvent impregnated hessian pompom, the very one he used get high, yes inside the school premises, we didn’t expel him, and after weeks of follow-up, he accepted his drug problem went into rehab. For two years he was in treatment at the same time he was studying his courses. At the end, he turned over his whole life, he was an excellent student, got a good job as mechanic in the workshop of a Nissan dealer.

Another case I remember was this lady student. She completed her courses in industrial dressmaking, then she assisted to a course I gave in building up your own business. When she finished it, she made a business plan and with my mentoring she got financing for her business. She bought industrial sewing machines, work tables, and all the equipment she needed to make muslin garments. To this day, her clothing line is sold in various resorts destination in Mexico, and she’s starting a new stage on her business exporting those pieces.

I could mention countless cases that give me great deal of joy and happiness, giving me the feeling I’m accomplishing something worthy and positive, touching people’s lives. That is the best thing I can get from that.

My intention with October Women Series is to portray a wide range of characters that could role models to other women and also men. Could you tell us about your perspective on achieving professional goals?

To me, putting my sight at the goal, was the key. Many coworkers told me that I couldn’t never reach the goal, because for being a woman, for my young age, for my background career, even for my physique. No matter what, I worked hard, never taking my sight off the prize. I fight long time taking down barriers and arguments from people, who insisted in getting my way, trying to kill my dreams. I did not lost my faith and if one door got close upon my face, only help me to build my strengths, knocking more doors or even making my owns. Finally I’ve got here.

Success is a very daunting word. It gets confuse with money, don’t misunderstand me, we need money to live, but success is more complex and have a depth and a richness to it. Do you feel successful?

Of course I feel and am successful! I do a job I love and enjoy, the very same job I visualized for myself. I walked the path to being here, overcoming obstacles but at the same time, harvesting plenty of professional achievements. Besides, the money I make from that job, provides everything that I need, my treats and I’m be able to share with the people I love the most.

If feeling complete, professionally speaking, having a loving and caring family that supports me, great friends and a man who loves me and motivates me to grow everyday don’t make me feel successful, I don’t know what else could bring that feeling into my life.

If someone else ask you a piece of advice about success, what do you tell that person?

Keep a good balance between your priorities in life. I myself at certain point in my career was so focus on achieving my goals, I disregard a lot of important things, family, friends, love and even my health. The day I realized reaching my goal without the other elements won’t grant me the success I was looking for. From that day, universe conspired to get me on the right track.

Thank you so much, for open your heart and mind, sharing with the readers, one glimpse to your life and work

Alejandra Ruiz. Bio.

I’ve got my degree in Social Work by the University of Guadalajara. In the education system I’ve been working as social worker; teacher; Director of a business incubation program helping people with their projects; working with SEDESOL a government agency for development training micro-businesses from vulnerable groups. I was chief in education plans to the sub-department of business connection at CECATI in my state, Jalisco. I am now, chief training officer at one of the CECATI’s campus #190 where I’m responsible for planning, developing and supervising the whole learning process and the administration of the student body affairs.

From the October Women Series, meet Evelyn talking about geriatrics and Geralin Professional Organizer

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