Welcome to The Dare to Be You Interview Series!
I really love this series because I get to put the spotlight on some of the people who inspire me to be daring through all aspects of my life every day, and to learn more about them in a deeper and much more meaningful way. This image is especially meaningful to both Ana and me because Friday, August 9th 2019, is HER Graduation Day! We have shared a multi-year journey that has just not been easy for either of us. There have been many moments of searching for the right path, the right timing, and for The Lord to reveal His calling for Ana's life as we traveled steadily forward together. Each step brought us closer connected in faith as we celebrated the many milestones along the way. Soon to be DBU MBA Alumnus, Patriot, and forever part of the DBU family; I couldn't be more proud of you, Ana!
I especially love this image because I see grace, hard work and patience, the sheer will to overcome obstacles, faithfulness, confidence, intentionality, and passion that it takes to get to this particular plateau! WOW! This is not the end, but only a new exciting beginning! Total living in the present, there’s got to be all of these components to even get close to the excellence we seek and to the whole hearted living we desire for connection.
Meet Ana Uribe!
Where are you now & what is your title?
I am currently the Assistant Development Manager for Bright Realty, a full-service real estate company. As part of the development team, I am responsible for coordinating the design, issuing permits, financing, construction, leasing and disposition of Bright Realty's horizontal and vertical commercial developments.
We’d love to hear about your journey as you prepare to graduate this coming week!
I can summarize my journey in one phrase: “trusting in God.” I moved from Colombia to Dallas almost four years ago due to my husband’s job. I was practicing law in Colombia, and as an attorney, I thought I had a good career in my country. Unexpectedly, God opened the door to come to the US. To be honest, I was reluctant and scared to move because I did not know English. Furthermore, I did not have any knowledge of the culture, nor a degree that qualified me for a job. With all my doubts, I decided to trust that God had a plan for me. Of course, He did! God always has a plan. Here I am four years later, graduating from my MBA program.
Share with us how you personally develop your competencies always focused on improving overall every day.
I believe every day is an opportunity for improvement, and it is up to us to decide to develop ourselves. We all have a day with twenty-four hours, and it depends on each one to decide how best to utilize our time. I am committed to using my twenty-four hours wisely. To me, learning is the key to overall improvement. Having the opportunity of studying for my MBA at DBU, a Christ-centered university, is one of the most amazing experiences in my life. This academic journey helped me to not only improve as a professional but most importantly, to improve as a person.
What advice would you give yourself if this was, say, three years ago?
My advice is to trust in God to undertake new journeys with the commitment to do your best. God will provide the strength and grace to achieve things far above your expectations. Yet, He will require you to take a leap of faith.
I can hear “gratitude” in your words. For what are you most grateful?
I am most grateful for having the opportunity to witness my God as the Way-Maker. Four years ago, I did not have a path, and now I have the privilege to say that I completed my MBA at DBU. My heart is full of joy for the extraordinary lessons that God taught me during the journey. My journey allowed me to meet amazing people who have guided me through the path. For example, Dr. Reid has been a true blessing for advising me during this journey.
We all need mental sanctuaries. Tell us about your mental sanctuary and the role it plays in your life.
My mental sanctuary is to always believe that better things are on the way. If my reality is not what I want, I always replace negative thoughts with thoughts of having a better future. Part of this every day process includes remembering God’s promises which encourages me to keep going. My first day at DBU I saw Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This verse is part of my mental sanctuary that gives me strength.
Tell us about something priceless from your background that makes you right for your current “there.”
I find that God’s amazing grace is something priceless from my background. In Colombia, I made the decision to be an attorney when I was 17 years old. However, I faced many adversities during the process that made me feel that my goal was impossible to achieve. Nevertheless, God’s grace helped me to succeed and I became an attorney. Now, I can affirm that more than becoming an attorney and having a title, God shaped my discipline, perseverance and commitment. I believe; we all have feelings to undertake new goals, such as a degree. However, new goals are accomplished by applying discipline and not with feelings. I have learned to ignore feelings if they do not work on my behalf. Indeed, it is not easy to work in a different country with a different language. Sometimes I feel ashamed of my accent and my way of communicating, but, regardless of my feelings, I choose to ignore my emotions, and I persevere in doing my best.
What 2 words describe the values you are driven to live by and give us an example for each of the values.
-Grace. I believe that every opportunity that I have received during my life is by grace. Believing in the grace of God makes me recognize that my achievements came from Him. I recognize that regardless of my multiple mistakes and weaknesses, God granted success in my endeavors in order to bring glory to His Name. For example, to be an attorney in my country my education was based on reading and writing. It means that I did not take many classes related to finance, accounting or statistics. By grace, I could complete my MBA with an “A” in all of my finance, accounting and statistics classes. I also believe that grace is a value that we need to incorporate in our daily relationships. This means that instead of punishing others for their mistakes, we need to find a way to see mistakes as part of our collective learning.
-Perseverance. God planted perseverance in my life to work hard. I believe that I was following God’s will when I registered for an MBA, and I persevered doing my best to finish. There were difficulties during the process, but perseverance helped me to finish. Many nights after work, I was exhausted, but I persevered to study hard on my classes.
What does selflessness mean to you, and what role does it play in your work?
To me, selflessness means to think less of me and focus more on others. I believe selflessness is God’s desire for my life. Selflessness is the manifestation of love. It can be challenging to think less of me. However, I believe that focusing on others more than me pleases God. The role that selflessness plays at work is seeing situations from different perspectives. My exercise includes putting in the shoes of others to try to understand them. If I am able to understand them, I will have the opportunity to help them in their processes.
What strategies do you use to dare to be you – to show up and let yourself be genuinely seen, all in, always choosing to do the right thing? Got an example of when it was really hard?
My strategy is to believe with all my heart that God accepts and loves me the way I am. Therefore, if God accepts me and loves me I should have the courage to dare to be me. My ultimate goal is to please Him. It is not always easy. I would affirm that every day is a challenge to dare to be me. I am immersed in a place where the language and the culture are totally different than mine. Although my emotions say that I do not fit in, I overcome this feeling by believing that God accepts me, and I belong to Him. Therefore, He wants me to be me wherever I am.
Do you have a creed for living and loving with your whole heart?
I do have a creed for living and loving with my whole heart. Love has the power to transform the impossible into the possible. Love is above everything. Love is the greatest principle in which I want to base my life. Love has the wisdom to guide my life in every single aspect. My favorite verse says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4–7.
Finally, I want to encourage others to trust God and not be afraid to undertake new journeys. Especially for international students that have the feeling that they do not belong, I want to encourage them to do their best and believe that great things will happen. We are not limited by our nationality, accent, or weaknesses! God always has a plan to give us a hope and a future. We need to persevere and fight the good fight!
Thank you, Ana, for sharing your thoughts and this moment with us! Congratulations, DBU MBA Alumnus! We are all so very proud of you!