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Alexandra Sanchéz Ospina

  • Age: 20 years

Competitor in Skill: Print Media Technology
Country: Colombia

1.    How did you get interested in your skill?

I did not have any idea after one month of starting my studies and curiosity to know how machines worked and the things they could do made feel attracted and interested in learning how to operate them and exploring the field of graphic arts. I ended up falling in love with this wonderful field.

2.    Where did you do your training for your skill?

I did my training first in Cali, in my training Center and various companies, among them: Indugraficas-Tecnoquímicas and Imágenes Gráficas. Then I went to Bogota several times to get training in the Graphic Arts Center Cenigraf , SENA
3.    How did you first find out about your Member organization and its programs?

I knew about SENA  through a call from a Colombian government program called Jóvenes en Accion (Youth in Action) which reunites low social strata young people to give them the chance to undertake technical studies at SENA.
4.    Who influenced you to pursue your skill as a career?

At first, I did not know what I was going to study and I wanted to move to Graphic Design or Printing, but there was an Instructor who made me think twice and convinced me that “despite being a skill intended for men, I could perform myself in a good manner with no problems at all, but only if I liked it” that is why I made the choice.
5.    What is your experience in participating with your Member organization?

When I signed up into SENA in July, 2013, the course had already begun in April, so I was to catch up. I accepted my Instructors’ proposal to register myself in WS by October that year. I was a little bit scared for I had only started studying and was to compete against four other Apprentices. But, from the start, my Instructor trusted totally in me and my skills and then I succeeded. I won and was ready to represent my Regional in national competition. There was a month to participate and we did not have the equipment to receive training and SENA contacted a company where I could undertake my training process for two weeks. Two weeks later I went to Bogota to know the equipment and train as hard as possible. I defeated another participant just for one mark, which meant I was able to do it and made me feel confident. Five months later, at WS Americas 2014 our skill was in demonstration   and I faced my former “rival” again. This time she won. Then, we were told there was going to be a play-off in November, then I embarked myself in a hard training program and finally, in March, 2015, the play-offs for the WS Sao Paulo were held, unluckily, my Instructor Fernando Castrillon, who trusted me a lot, passed away, but thanks to his teaching and experience and the Regional Expert Hernan Jimenez’ support, I could make it to the present competition after a hard training program.
6.    Describe your most memorable moment so far with WorldSkills?

For me, every moment in WS has been memorable and unforgettable in my life. Every site where I could perform my skills and face my fears, all offered by SENA , were the ones that let me be the kind of competitor I am now, nourished of a wide knowledge and experiences not only for my professional development but also for my personal growth.
7.    Describe what your experience has been since your involvement with WorldSkills

When I started my studies I did not know what I was able to do. Even, I did not think I could win the national competition or even getting to the international level. I guess I was not the only one with that kind of thoughts, for not all of us could count on the equipment and tools in our training centre. Nonetheless, in spite of these drawbacks, there was a passion and love for what I do, which led me to do my best to catch everything related to this field and take advantage of the chances I was given. It has not been only a competition, it has been a challenge which helped me to prove how strong I am to face fear, I also could find what I really like and mostly , I learnt what I can get through effort.
8.    Did participating in the skills competitions and training for WorldSkills help you progress in your skill? Please describe.

Yes, it did. Not all of the Apprentices coming to SENA have that chance. Not all of them have the chance to enrol in productive industry or receiving such a wide range of knowledge and working with the best technology as to machinery and equipment. It is about two years of training and three competitions in which I have been able to demonstrate my skills and I have learnt to do my job the best I can using the tools necessary for getting high quality levels. Every competition has been increasingly demanding, which made me train even harder and explore different ways of working to do my job a little bit faster and leading to perfection. 
9.    What do you currently do?  Where do you work?

At present I am working at SENA. I hold a contract in Graphs Arts workshop in my training centre, where I have had the chance to accompany different groups of Apprentices, sharing my knowledge with them.
10.  What are your future career aspirations?

I wish I could continue studying in the field I am working now and take the chance SENA has given me to be an Instructor