Culture of Committment

Posted on Thursday, Dec 13, 2018

Growing up I did not hear about Texas A&M until I was 13 when my older sister committed to the university. After helping her move into the dorms and visiting College Station numerous times over the next four years, I too decided I wanted to attend Texas A&M University. I remember receiving my acceptance letter in December of 2013 and never looking back.

Texas A&M University represents a culture of commitment. My first commitment was to the University. Then I had to commit to a degree, and that is where the true meaning of Aggies Commit comes into play. Aggies Commit stands for Aggies committing to a lifetime of learning. After more than one major change and numerous degree plans later, I decided to act on the passion I had for learning about the peoples and cultures of the world around us. My second commitment was to a degree in International Commerce. It was in this field of study that I realized one will never fully learn everything there is to learn and that is what drew me in the most. While I have a knowledge of the Spanish language and a more in-depth understanding of cultures in Latin America, I will never fully know about all the different peoples, languages, and cultures within our world.

During my junior year, I committed to study abroad over the summer. I did not want to miss out on a full semester at Texas A&M; however, looking back on my experience now a summer was not nearly enough time. I realized no matter how long I was in Costa Rica, the time would never be enough. There will always be more to learn, more to see, more people to meet, etc. We simply must make the most out of the time we are given.

Nearing the end of my senior year, I knew it was time to commit to a career. All my friends were figuring out what they wanted to do and committing to graduate schools and new jobs. The thought of choosing a forever career at age 22 was (and still is daunting to me). I was accepted to the PPIP program in February and committed to moving to Washington D.C. in August. After being presented with the possibility of going to Spain, I had to truly start deciphering what it was that I wanted to get from this internship and where I wanted to go after it.

Never visiting Europe before, the idea of moving to Madrid by myself seemed terrifying. Writing this now I think that is hysterical because at this point I can’t imagine leaving. So, in June, just two months before leaving I finally decided on Spain. Committing to Spain meant committing to a new continent, country, culture, and job that I was unfamiliar with. I knew I was in Spain to work, but I was also in Spain to learn.

Walking into my internship with the U.S. Commercial Service, I made a commitment to myself to put my best foot forward each day and work harder than I ever have before. One will only get out of an internship what they put in, and I decided I was going to give it everything I had. I committed to stepping out of my comfort zone each day, I committed to doing the most I could for everyone in my office, and I committed to learning everything there was (and still is) to learn. My time with the Commercial Service has been unmatched and I will continue putting forth the Aggies Commit mentality through this internship and into my future careers.

Gretchen Theis
U.S. Commercial Service
Madrid, Spain | fall 2018