Shalika Khindurangala, career coordinator, Iowa State University Ivy College of Business
My country was attacked by Russia in February 2022. It happened later at night so I stayed up on the phone with everyone hearing people cry and panic. The fear I felt was FULL, not less. I had a meeting at 10 a.m. the next morning, so after crying my eyes out and not understanding what the future holds, I went to work and had a meeting with the dean, associate dean, and then a separate one with my supervisor and the assistant director. I did not cry, did not waver. I delivered my presentation in the most professional way.
Looking back, I have no idea how I managed that. Words seemed so heavy, and smiling seemed burdensome.
Fast-forward, I have started my own nonprofit 501(c)(3) that is working diligently to provide all the aid we can to Ukraine and Ukrainians; it is called Iowans for Ukrainians.