Alumni Network Spotlight

By Leslie Corn

J-1 Intern | Global Citizen from the Philippines

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In 2014, Rex Fernando began a 1-year hospitality internship in the United States. Today, Rex is back in the Philippines where he owns his own pastry shop. He also serves as a part-time instructor for aspiring chefs. Rex credits his J-1 program for equipping him with the skills and knowledge necessary to operate his own successful business, and to teach emerging hospitality professionals in his home country.

Through CENET’s Alumni Network, Rex shared the following details about his J-1 experience in the United States:

The J-1 internship program greatly influenced my career up to now because the training was very helpful in making me more knowledgeable of the industry I’m in. An example would be my creative pastry work that has been strongly influenced by the best chefs I trained under.

The program changed me in a sense that I feel that I’m more sensitive to
different cultures now than I was before. It change my inexperienced life to
see more and to have more understanding. It was a significant time for me.

I believe it’s a necessity to familiarize yourself with different cultures
in a way that allows the harmony of relationships to be present because of the clarity
of different backgrounds. To see one’s self in the other more by
going deeper with conversations.

I would definitely recommend the J-1 program to others. I want them to experience
the journey of becoming independent, and all the fun first experiences they will surely
remember. You must lose yourself to know yourself.

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