If you have your finger on the pulse of world news, you will know that Venezuela has been, and continues to be struggling when it comes to making the economy work. With the financial future cast in shadow, the citizens of Venezuela are currently struggling to survive. When they do find employment - wages are low and inflation is high, making it difficult to cope with everyday life. Under these circumstances, most people would venture abroad for work - but many people from Venezuela simply don't have this luxury. Fortunately, Alberto Cabezas found another way to carve out a life for himself.
Working as a freelancer for ReFUEL4 gave Alberto the opportunity to pursue his professional dreams of becoming a graphic designer - allowing him to overcome the restrictions of his homeland, and discover a new world of real, sustainable business. We caught up with Alberto to learn more about what drove him to pursue his new career, and gave him the strength to keep pushing despite the economic difficulties of his own home country.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself - What is it that makes you tick?
Alberto: I love living life to the fullest - pursuing my passions and making the most of everything I've got. I've always been drawn towards the arts, from painting and illustration, to playing the guitar and making music in my spare time - that's why art acts as my primary motivation when I'm looking for that push to take me one step closer to my professional, and personal goals.
Beyond that, I also consider myself to be a very active person - I like to keep up with sport, plenty of recreational activity, like surfing, jogging, capoeira martial arts, and MMA. I think an active lifestyle goes a long way towards achieving true happiness.
2. What Made You Become a Designer?
Alberto: I've always had a passion for drawing - ever since I was young - so I think my future has always been linked with arts and graphics. I once even considered studying fine arts, but a friend of mine advised me to choose design instead - as it offers more marketable possibilities. I fell in love with the world of graphic design quite easily, since it allowed me to explore my skills and still make art.
When I discovered ReFUEL4, it originally presented itself as an opportunity for me to supplement my income - something I was far more invested in than the other moonlighting options I had tried. However, I soon realized that RF4 could be a lot more than that - it could actually be the keys to me opening my own small business as a freelancer. Now, I consider myself to be a visual communicator and creative leader with plenty of skills to build upon. I'm developing skills in print, web, corporate images, and even post-production videos.
3. What Inspires You to Do What You Do? And What Fulfils you as A Designer?
Alberto: The economic situation in Venezuela is currently pretty poor, but my nature and passion for the arts keeps me inspired. I want to be able to beat the odds and continue to grow as a professional so that I can count myself as an expert within my field. Of course, having the opportunity to support a decent lifestyle and keep my family happy helps to fulfil me as a designer, but there's more to my passion than that alone. The low salaries and severe shortages of my country are unprecedented, and they can make life a challenge - with my graphic design skills, I want to prove I can overcome that challenge and create a great life for myself.
I also have a dream of travelling the world, which means I'm going to have to work hard if I want to reach my goals. That too, helps to motivate me to keep improving, and building on my skills.
4. What Where You Looking for When You Came Across ReFUEL4? And what Compelled you to Start Working with Us?
Alberto: I've always loved the idea of freelance - simply because it's so versatile. You get to create a schedule that works according to your needs, and live a more independent lifestyle. Unfortunately, at first I was forced to work in an office in order to make ends meet, and though I had many valuable experiences with the companies I worked for, I simply wasn't doing what I loved. On top of that, the terrible economic situation in my country meant I needed to start looking for work on the internet if I wanted to make enough money to really live. After all, besides incredibly low salaries, we're also facing some of the highest inflation on earth - around 600% in 2016.
Fortunately, one of the people I worked with told me about ReFUEL4, and I started looking into it straight away. In the end, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.
5. What Has Been Your Experience, in Working with ReFUEL4?
Alberto: Simply put? It's changed my life. I have the freelance working experience I've always wanted - I'm happier, and as a creative leader I've helped my compatriots to have decent work and better lifestyles. On top of that, I'm also receiving income I'd never have the chance to make in my own country.
I feel like I've reached a crucial step in my life thanks to ReFUEL4, and I'm committed to giving the company my all for that reason.
6. What can ReFUEL4 do to make Earn and Learn Design Program more effective?
Alberto: I would love to have the opportunity to keep growing with ReFUEL4, and become a creative leader who can handle larger groups of designers. I'm also thinking of traveling and seeing some new places - since I have revenue to do some things I'd never be able to do before.
Most importantly, I want to keep doing what I have been doing - working hard and helping people to overcome the same situation I was once in.