Graduating Greyhounds 2014: Ixchel Ochoa

Senior Ixchel Ochoa is moving abroad to Southeast Asia just a few days after Commencement to embark on an adventure in service, teaching, and self-discovery

By Brigid Darragh

Spotlight on: Ixchel Ochoa

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela; New York, N.Y.

Degree: B.B.A. - International Business; Comparative Culture in Literature Studies Minor

A professor you’d tell others to take: Roger Kashlak, Ph.D, professor of management and international business, hands down.

A class you’d recommend other students take: If the person is interested in the stars and the way the universe works as much as I am, I would recommend Intro to the Universe. If the person is art-oriented, I loved my art history class.

About Ixchel

Ixchel Ochoa grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and when she was 12 years old she moved to Manhattan, where she has since lived with her stepmom. She attended middle and high school in New York City before coming to Loyola.

When she returned from Belgium last summer after a year of studying abroad in Leuven, she said her focus shifted to international post-graduate service opportunities.

Ochoa had traveled to Mandeville, Jamaica, her sophomore year with The Jamaican Experience, and it was there, she says, that the path to do more when she completed her degree came into focus.

“Even if it’s helping one person realize they can do so much more than they think they can-it doesn’t have to be me helping a whole town or changing the world, but helping one life realize its potential.”

Following graduation, Ixchel is moving abroad to Thailand to teach at Assumption University, a private, Catholic university with campuses in Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi. As a professor at Assumption, she will teach English as a foreign language to students from around the globe, including China, Burma, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Russia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, among others.

Ixchel’s hope is that a year of service will accomplish two things at once: It will reveal to her “where she fits” in the world as well as how she can best serve others with the tools, education, and skills she has developed during her time at Loyola.

Photo submitted by Ixchel Ochoa

How has Loyola prepared you for the future?

Loyola’s opportunities have taught me much more about myself than I would have expected my alma mater to help with. This institution shaped my future and taught me to act upon the things I want because the opportunities are there for me to grab onto.

What are your plans following graduation, and how did you arrive at them?

It started with my desire to do service and to participate in the Peace Corps. Then I received an email from Father (Ronald) Amiot about the teaching opportunity in Thailand. So now I’m teaching at Assumption University in Bangkok for a year.

What are you most looking forward to in your next chapter?

Further growing as a person and defining my career path.

Which weekly ritual from your college days will you miss most?

I think it is obvious that no one will miss the workload, stress, or classes.

What I absolutely will miss is having all my friends around almost a phone call or text away; coming out of class on a sunny day and sitting on the Quad with everyone I have come to love in this institution.

What was the best piece of advice you received during college?

I sat down to have an important conversation once, and what I got out of it was that of all the things I am doing, have done, or will do, I need to understand their purpose in my life. To analyze why I make the choices I do, while making sure they are leading me towards my goals.

To read more stories about this year’s Graduating Greyhounds, visit our 2014 Commencement page.

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