Portales is a long way from Bad Nauheim, Germany. But after Eastern New Mexico University alum Camala Beek graduated in the fall of 2010, Bad Nauheim became her new home where she works as a marketing and communications specialist and copywriter for a public relations agency.
The 23-year-old was quite the well-rounded student while at ENMU. She was originally recruited from the small town Cheyenne Wells, Colo., to play volleyball, but she also sang in the ENMU Choir and was the floor director for KENW’s Sports Look.
“I had never been to Germany and it was certainly a major transition,” Beek said. “Particularly not having a car, not having a television, not knowing the language or anyone, not having a dryer, the weather being in Celsius, using the metric system, using Microsoft Office in German.”
While at ENMU, she majored in communications with an emphasis in public relations. Beek says she’d like be known at ENMU as a hard worker and for being involved in athletics and modeling.
“She was a right side player and a role player,” said former volleyball coach Mike Maguire. “She was always there for everyone and supported them. She was a great kid and it’s nice to see students who want to different things.”
Germany wasn’t a random choice of locations to find work. Beek said her family hosted a foreign exchange student from Cologne, Germany, while she was in high school, which prompted her to find the opportunity that started as an internship.
“I applied not thinking much about it and was surprised to hear back from the company,” Beek said. “I was an intern for one year and then was offered a position to stay on the following year. I was appointed marketing communications specialist and copywriter for a global company in the cycling industry.”
Beek also has a host of other responsibilities with the company including organizing large-scale international trade fairs and conferences.
“I made so many life changing transitions, from student to the work force, collegiate athlete to sitting at a desk job eight hours a day on top of moving across the world,” Beek said. “My horizon was broadened on so many different levels. There is so much more to life than what happens in the U.S., and there are also so many luxuries we as students and Americans take for granted.”
Beek’s favorite thing to do in Germany is get out of Germany. By car, she’s four hours from Paris, Switzerland, Berlin and Prague.
“Since I have been here, I have seen Rome, Barcelona, Croatia, Bulgaria, Zurich, the Netherlands, Munich, Antwerp and Hamburg just to name a few,” Beek said. “I have plans this upcoming month to visit Budapest and go skiing in the Alps.”
The other thing she enjoys is seeing historical places such as the Berlin Wall and visiting the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau were more than 25,000 Jews killed during the Holocaust.
Although Beek has experienced life outside of Portales, she still has a soft spot for the school and the place she once called home.
“I certainly miss the way of life and the atmosphere surrounding the college life,” she said. “I also miss being a part of the athletic program and the people I met; some of which I still keep in contact with and have become some of my closest friends.”
Ultimately she said her experiences at ENMU have helped her discover who she is.
“The people and professors at ENMU seemed to take a personal interest in my education and future plans,” Beek said. “I felt as though they genuinely wanted to see me succeed and were always there for advice and help. Athletics played a primary role in my experience, which was both the most difficult and most rewarding thing I have ever experienced.”
For now, she plans to stay in Germany for at least one more year but plans to apply for jobs globally hoping to take on another part of the world.
“Eventually, I would like to become a creative director for a sports or beauty and fashion related industry,” Beek said.