First Ottawa graduate to become World Merit Ambassador!

Martina Bucchal is a recent graduate from BA HONS in Law at Carleton University who understands the value of hard work and perseverance. She also happens to be this year’s World Merit Global Ambassador, having beaten out roughly 60,000 contestants for the title.

Her Campus U Ottawa sat down with Martina to discuss her new role and what she hopes to accomplish as this year’s World Merit Global Ambassador.

What is World Merit?

World Merit is an online community of young leaders looking to make a change in their community, and in the world. You can check out the World Merit website here.

What does “Global Ambassador” really mean?

As Global Ambassador, Martina will spend time at World Merit’s UK office to talk to the press. She will then begin traveling to various countries to meet with prominent leaders, young and old.

For Martina, the role of Global Ambassador is to act as a bridge of information between young activists and entrepreneurs around the world. Throughout our interview, she stressed how important it was for her to represent her community.  Her selflessness and enthusiasm was evident as she discussed the different projects that she could be called upon to help.

Exciting projects: conducting interviews in foreign countries; creating bridges between young entrepreneurs and researchers around the world; empowering young leaders.

Introvert or extravert?

A self-described introvert, Martina didn’t seem nervous about meeting all these new people over the next year. In fact, she views each new challenge as an opportunity.

Example: Martina dislikes talking about herself, but will be doing many interviews as the spokeswoman for World Merit.

Her trick: She looks at every interview as a way to tell the world about World Merit and the people who make up its community. 

How did she become involved?

Like many recent graduates, Martina wasn’t sure what she would do after graduation. Then one day, a couple of clicks through Google led her to the World Merit Global Ambassador contest. She signed up and started completing the challenges, which ranged from canvassing her community to find out which social issues mattered to them, to contacting Rick Mercer and Elizabeth May for interviews.  

Her hardest challenge?

Martina says that the hardest challenge for her was presenting an elevator pitch in front of a panel of judges, all of whom were CEOs of successful Silicon Valley companies. No pressure or anything!

When’s the last time you beat out 60,000 competitors?

After each round, the contestants were evaluated: Martina went from being one in 60,000 competitors, to being the 2014 World Merit Ambassador!

Live, grow, share

When asked if she would have accepted this position even if she were still in university, Martina answered with a strong YES. When the chance to make a difference and be part of something big comes along, you have to take it. University will always be there, and no one cares if you took 3 or 6 years to finish it. This coming from woman who, between switching programs and working full time during her whole undergraduate degree, took 6 years to get her diploma. 

Life lesson: When you’re in your twenties, everything you do is a learning experience. University will teach you a lot, but being open to new experiences and getting out in the world will teach you more.

Bonus: You’ll meet some pretty awesome friends who will help you later on. Martina spoke highly of each of the 12 contestants that she met in San Francisco. She was excited to share their achievements and was already thinking of ways that she could help them out by introducing them to new people during her travels.

Wow, she must be pretty balsy

Martina’s response: If you’re good at something, it isn’t balsy to let people know.

Want to follow Martina’s big year?

Follow her on Twitter at @MartinaBuchal or through her World Merit Ambassador blog.