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Tatiana Hoecker, IBEI alumni 2017-18

Name and Last Name: Tatiana Hoecker

Nationality: American

Master studied at IBEI: Master's in International Development

Class: 2017-18

Current working company, position and city: World Mission Program Coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, San Antonio, TX (USA)

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tatiana-hoecker/

1. Why did you choose the IBEI Master’s in International Development?

I chose to study International Development at IBEI in order to further broaden my educational experience. I wanted to study with a diverse group of people from all over the world and be taught by well-known professionals in my field, and IBEI provided that. I also knew that to study ID, there would be no better experience than to leave my own home country and go study abroad.

2. What is your experience at IBEI? 

The year I spent at IBEI was one of the best years of my life. I loved every minute of my time studying ID, talking to professors, attending lectures, and connecting with people from all over the world. I bonded closely with my classmates and I continue to stay in touch with them. I found the students at IBEI to be a close-knit group of passionate individuals who want to learn how they can better make a difference in the world.

3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI

Upon graduating from IBEI, I started working and continue to work for the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas in World Mission. I wrote my thesis on faith-based organization and education in low income countries. That research project helped me achieve this role.

4. What is your professional experience (your current position, your main functions)?

I am currently the World Mission Program Coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. I manage 10 mission teams through their team leaders to find sustainable strategies to approach their mission projects in countries around the world including Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and Uganda. I also function as a liaison between our in-country mission partners, the mission teams and the Diocese. I travel abroad often to the countries we work with to monitor our projects and build relationships with our partners. Additionally, I manage all fundraisers and communications for the World Mission Department. 

5. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now? 

My master’s program aided me not only in the practical learning of the international development field, but in finding new ways to problem solve and analysis issues for sustainable change. My research and communication skills improved greatly during my time at IBEI and that has helped me greatly in this position. Additionally, my thesis topic related to the work of faith-based organizations in low income countries which is what this position focuses on.

6. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?

At first, this was not where I thought I would end up. However, as I have grown and gained new responsibilities in this position, I see that I am in the right place. I am able to combine my passion for international development and sustainability with my experience being a missionary for the Episcopal church for the last 12 years.

7. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students? 

My main advice to IBEI students in general is to not worry about finding a job or internship while writing your thesis. You’ll find something, I promise! Just enjoy your time in Barcelona and focus on writing. Now advice regarding a career path, I would say to try and find people and organizations that you are passionate about. Don’t ever compromise on your passion!

8. What do you miss most about the IBEI? 

I miss being surrounded by a group of international, passionate, like-minded peers who would be willing at any moment to talk about international development strategies and issues over a delicious café con leche.