BTE Student Stories

Student Ambassador Maria Rana

Maria represented her community of High Wycombe, United Kingdom at ABTS 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. While there, she forged bonds with other ambassadors, learned about Portuguese culture, and earned a digital badge in Intercultural Fluency. We asked her about BTE and ABTS and here’s what she had to say:

My Favorite BTE memory is…

My favorite BTE memory is most probably the ABTS conference. The process of applying and writing the application, preparing for presentations and interviews, and the complete journey to get to Portugal was enjoyable.

To me, BTE has meant…

To me, BTE has meant an opportunity to be introduced to the working world and to be a small part of something big and meaningful. During BTE, I have developed a close relationship with my mentors, especially Gill Manning and Jackie Bryant, and have had the comfort of knowing I will have support no matter what.

The most important thing I will take away from BTE is…

The most important thing I will take away from BTE is the mindset that BTE has helped me create: to keep going, to stay positive, and most of all to believe in myself.

I wanted to come to ABTS because…

The opportunity to be a representative of the BTE program in High Wycombe was a massive privilege for me as I have achieved so much through working with the mentors, listening and learning from them. This is helping me make decisions about my future by opening my eyes to a much greater range of careers, aspirations, opportunities, skills and self-development. As the BTE program has given me so much, I felt that by being an ambassador, I would have the chance to give back to the program.

Thanks to my time in BTE and at ABTS, in the future I will…

Thanks to my time in BTE, I have the knowledge and experience to conduct myself in the right manner. I have received the aid and support to build a firm foundation to keep me stable in the future. BTE has taught me how to achieve my aspirations and that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to.


We are proud to award Maria a digital badge in Intercultural Fluency for her work at ABTS 2018. She showed improvement in skills allowing one to work with people from other cultures. These are:

  1. Show Curiosity
  2. Recognize and challenge one’s own cultural biases
  3. Appreciate Diverse Perspectives
  4. Demonstrate Self Awareness