December 2011 Exchange Visitor of the Month: Monika Hogye Hoppanova

Filed in Exchange Visitor Spotlight by on December 28, 2011 0 Comments

Congratulations to Monika Hogye Hoppanova, our Exchange Visitor of the Month. We recently caught up with Monika to learn more about her J-1 visa experience.

How is your training going?

The training is really fantastic. I knew that I’m entering a great program. It’s a 3 yr program and it’s really special to be able to be in the HQ. The training is in marketing. The first part of the program is in global marketing, one is in productables marketing and one is in business marketing. To understand how each business unit works with each other is a really unique part of the program.

What do you like about your training?

The networking possibilities. Dell is really supporting this. I don’t have any problem to set up a meeting with executive directors above me which is really great because not every where has that opportunity.

What do you like to do outside of your training?

We like traveling, just getting to know new cultures and new people. My husband and I have been to a lot of new places already. Our first goal was to explore Texas because it’s so big! We love San Antonio, We’ve been to Sea World and four or five zoos! We’ve been to Dallas, Houston and the NASA space Center which was fabulous. We went to Oregon for a couple days and the Pacific coast, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and of course the Austin area.

Any favorite new places or foods?

Oregon is our favorite place and we would love to go back! We visited with a family friend but didn’t get to see all of the places on our list. Before we go home we would love, if we can manage it, to go to Hawaii. It’s a 36 hour flight from Europe so it’s very difficult to get to. If we are already here it’s a unique possibility to go!

Foods: When we were in Oregon and the pacific coast we tried a couple of new seafoods but I’m not really a big fan of seafoods. It’s interesting but its not really my thing. It was a nice experience anyway. Texas is famous for steaks and the steaks here are just fabulous. In Slovakia we have an expression that “you have a heaven in your mouth” and that’s what the steaks are. And the jalapeno creamy sauce. I love spicy stuff!

Any surprises? Stereotypes?

Not really any surprises. The U.S. is such a big country and the states are all different from each other especially Texas is different. The people are so open and so nice, especially the service is so great here. Everybody is helpful and open to small talk. I thought people just say that small talk is important but I didn’t really pay attention but now that I’m here I realize it really is.

When you go home, what will you tell people?

Everything is big in Texas! It’s not just a phrase, everything really is big! Big portions, big cars, lots of trucks, the roads are so wide. People were trying to scare me that it would be very very hot in the summer but it was great I loved it! Before someone says something negative about any country they should really think twice and go there and live for a while and then he has the right to say something. But if you just go for a short vacation or read something in the newspaper that is just judging.

Any advice for other trainees and interns?

Use the opportunity to the maximum level. The time is flying so fast so don’t wait! Build relationships because you never know who you’ll meet.

Any last words?

Be open! Open to new possibilities and say ok for some time I will not see my family but it will help me and I will benefit from it that it makes it worth it to be separated for a short period of time