Cleuzia Navessee ’13 originally came to the United States from the South African country of Mozambique because she wasn’t keeping up with her school work. Her parents sent her to Iowa when she was in middle school to help her get serious about her education.
And 10 years later, it’s obvious that they’ve accomplished their mission.
Cleuzia, or “Kilu” as her friends call her, is now a busy GU student, double majoring in Business Administration and Accounting. She’s scheduled to graduate a semester early and recently secured a summer internship with McClain Enterprises in Independence, MO. Graceland’s Board of Trustees’ Chair, Ken McClain, and his wife Cindy McClain, hire Graceland students each summer for the program.
“This internship is going to be such a good opportunity for me. I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet career wise, and this will help me figure everything out. I’m going to gain experience, work with new people and get one step closer to where I want to be,” said Cleuzia.
"If you have questions the teachers at Graceland are so willing to help you. They’ll let you contact them at home. They really take the time to make sure you fully understand what you’re working on."
Securing the internship shows the progression Cleuzia has made since her arrival in the U.S. 10 years ago. Cleuzia says when she arrived in the States she didn’t speak any English, with Portuguese being the national language in Mozambique. On top of her language struggles, she had the culture shock of moving from a sprawling city to rural Iowa. She says her hometown (Fairfield, IA) had a lot more “cows and corn” than she had originally envisioned.
Now fluent in English, and used to small-town life, Cleuzia says she’ll have some valuable experiences and marketable skills to take back to Africa. After graduating from Graceland next December, she plans to get her Master’s degree in either Business or Accounting. After that, she hopes to gain work experience before returning to Mozambique.
As for now, Cleuzia continues to gain experience working with the Graceland Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team and participating in Shalom House Council as Intramural Representative. Cleuzia also plays JV soccer.
She says Graceland was instrumental in her acquiring the upcoming internship. The Business Department informed her of the internship opportunity and she was able to have a mock-interview with the Career, Academic, Personal Counseling (CAP) Center the day before her internship interview.
“I’m excited for this chance,” said Cleuzia. “I’m willing to do the work. I’m ready to work hard and gain some experience in the real world.”