Stimulating Change: Student Manuela Barroso
Born and raised in São Paulo Brazil, Manuela Barroso is pursuing a double major in International Affairs and International Business. Manuela is a Resident Assistant at JCU and a member of Model United Nations.
What brought you to JCU?
I went to a German high school where I learned to speak German, Spanish, and English. and that is what really inspired me to go abroad. Originally, I thought that I wanted to go to film school in the United States because I have always been very interested in the arts. However, during a college fair at my high school I found JCU. I saw that they offered a degree in International Affairs and had a Model United Nations club and that was really intriguing to me, so I decided to apply.
Why did you decide to double major in International Affairs and International Business?
About a year ago I started working at So Fare Films, an independent production company. I was collaborating with one of the founders, Professor Jenn Lindsay, and she helped me realize that I am more interested in the production and business part of film. This led me to double major in International Affairs and International Business. I can see myself one day using both of those disciplines in the film industry.
Tell us about So Fare Films.
So Fare Films is a startup founded by JCU Professor Jenn Lindsay. Because it is a new company we have a small staff of mostly student interns, which means the work is very hands on. I am a production manager, and my role is to handle the business side of things. This means handling the marketing and distribution of the films and then getting them into film festivals. Right now, So Fare Films has one documentary that is ready, called Simulating Religious Violence. It is about a group of computer scientists, who after the Boston marathon bombings in 2013, decided to understand what triggers that kind of violence and then come up with programs to help prevent it. It has been a really interesting experience working on this documentary because it tackles issues regarding international relations, while the production of the film focuses more on international business.
Tell us about Model United Nations.
The Model UN club was something that drew me to John Cabot, and I have loved being involved in it. I have been to 20 MUN conferences and have traveled extensively. I was the Secretary General for one of the 2021 MUN conferences. I organized all the academics for the conference, including the study guides and the committees.
You assisted the organizers at TEDx Roma 2023. Tell us about the experience.
TEDx Roma is an annual conference that brings international speakers to Rome to lead discussions on the overarching theme of stimulating change. This year’s topic was artificial intelligence and the pros and cons that come with an increasingly technological world. I volunteered for two days to help with backstage operations, including managing all 18 of the international speakers.
What would you say to someone who is debating whether to study abroad or not?
I would tell them to do it and to be open to new opportunities. When I first came to JCU I closed myself off to certain opportunities because they did not align with what I had originally pictured for myself. However, once I started to embrace studying abroad and JCU, I have been able to do so many cool things and learn so much about myself that I would not have otherwise.