Fulbright Scholar Giovanna Povis (MSHRM ’10) knows from personal experience that the only person who can stand in her way is herself.
Growing up in Pasco, Peru, she witnessed the strain a third-world country can put on its people, but didn’t let limited resources and opportunities hold her back. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and taking a job at a mining company, Povis realized that her interests extended beyond the numbers and figures she had studied.
Assigned to tackle the absenteeism that often accompanies the dangerous mining industry, Povis helped reduce the number of absent employees from 7 percent to 2 percent and saved her company $1.8 million.
Though engineering and a passion for human resources are not commonly associated with one another, the project helped Povis make the connection. "I found that if you talk to people, you can make a great impact in the same way that you make an impact when you change the parameters of a machine," she says.
Since enrolling at Krannert, Povis has built a close community of friends and continues to put others first by serving as president of the Hispanic Graduate Students Club and co-president of the Management Volunteer Program. "As a graduate student, you are not just looking for knowledge; you are looking for an experience," she says.
As part of this commitment, Povis is ready and willing to improve herself in the pursuit of knowledge and helping those less fortunate. She welcomes constructive criticism and the chance to learn from everyone around her.
"Giving others the opportunity to criticize you with freedom is a good thing," she explains. "If you can help me do things better, I don’t feel bad."
As a Fulbright Scholar, Povis is required to return to Peru for at least two years following her graduation from Krannert. She looks forward to giving back to her country and sharing her education.
Longer term, Povis plans to become a mobile asset. "My dream in five years is to be wherever my expertise is most needed," she says. "It doesn’t matter if it’s Africa, North America, or South America. I just want to make a difference."
Povis hopes her hard work and determination will inspire other young professionals to be generous with their education. "It’s not just about looking for a job and making money," she says. "We have a responsibility to bring about change and contribute toward making the world a better place."
— Mackenzie Greenwell