3/27/2013 1:29 PM
After a wonderful spring break, I totally fall in love with Colombia, the country, the people, the food, and everything. So I decided to post a blog series to record my amazing experience there!
Although I can't speak Spanish, this doesn't affect my interaction with people there, because they are just born to be energetic and hospital, to be dancer and to be musician! Also we got opportunities to talk to many VIP people in Colombia, which make our trek meaningful and unforgettable:
- Professor Wesley Sine
He is one of my favorite professor in Johnson, I was sad that I didn't know him before this trek, but I feel lucky to finally know him in person because of this trek.
I respect him because he is such an open-minded person who see the future and has the determination to make changes to prepare Johnson student for the future, because he uses a different way to make us truly understand how important it is to be global and international, and because it is him who make this trek so unique, which I believe, might change my future career path!
- Student from Universidad de los Andes
Universidad de los Andes is a very prestigious private university in Colombia, it is called Harvard in Colombia.
When I worked with students from Universidad de los Andes, I didn't feel any culture difference, they are down-to-earth and humorous, which makes me very comfortable from day one, even when we speak to their university president, who is also Cornell alumni, we just chatted with each other as friend, because he is always honest about his ideas, his job, his vision and his country.
- Pedro Medina
He is a social businessman who founded McDonald’s in Colombia and led it during 7 years, making it the biggest college student’s employer;
He is also an educator who now serves the president of the “Yo Creo en Colombia” (“I believe in Colombia”) Foundation. As a catalyst, and together with his foundation, he has reached 441.975 people in 146 cities from 24 countries.
We had dinner at his paradise house which located in the middle of nowhere, but it embraces green mountains and clean water, I can't find any single word to describe my surprise when I saw his house in person, and it took us almost 3 hours and 3 different transportation tools to get his house from Bogota, the capital city of Colombia. During the dinner, I can definitely feel his strong passion and love for his country Colombia, I was even shocked by his vision and courage, which I firmly believe that he will make a huge difference for the country, people and culture he is loving! His presentation about what he is doing for Colombia pushes me to think, to reflect and to check what kind of person I want to be. With entrepreneurial spirit in his deep heart, he asked us to evaluate our career path and our life, which is the biggest takeaway for me!
- Diego Molano
He is the 2nd and current minister of Information Technologies and Communications (ICT) of Colombia serving current President Juan Manuel Santos since 2010. He has over 24 years of experience in the industry of information and communications technology, in emerging markets and developed countries. After taking Minister of ICT position to serve his country, he initiated the Live Digital Technology Plan that seeks to expand and massify the use of Internet in the country, to improve the whole country's competitiveness through technology revolutionary.
We are lucky to have chances to talk with him about his technology plan, he is such a wonderful gentleman who is always ready to change and take risks, especially when he mentioned about how his initiatives changes Colombia gradually, we can easily read the proud in his eye, and of course, we are also proud of him and his team. Colombia now is undergoing 4G network implementation and 3G network upgrade, there will be a huge infrastructure investment, which will produce so many investment opportunities. But only people who has global mindset can feel those opportunities, and this requires extensive global experience and an open mind, so again, trek is so important and useful to prepare MBA student to be ready for those life-change opportunities.
- Entrepreneurs in SME (Small Medium Enterprise)
That mid-age lady who managed one of the biggest flower company in Colombia, that young and passionate lady who is responsible for the quality control of the biggest beer company in Colombia, and that interesting lady who serves her country as a hierophant for Colombia Gold Museum, the most prestigious museum which record Hispanic history in the whole world, all of them give me the same impression: hardworking, passionate about what they are doing now, and having deep belief in the future of their country!
Can you imagine most of the employees in that flower company are single mother? When I asked why, that lady told me that there are so many single mother in Colombia, she wants to help them to raise the family and at same time make themselves happy. From flower plantation, transportation to flower decorations an packaging, that diligent lady is working with hundreds of single mother to export beauty to countries like US, Russia, Japan and other south America countries, all of a sudden, I really respect her!
For the next chapter, I will post it in a few days later! See you soon