“Being a part of the World Business Forum has motivated me to learn and seek more. I feel more driven to excel.” Read up on Divya’s expedition to the World Business Forum .
“I am very grateful to Pearl Academy and Laureate International University to give me this opportunity to attend the World Business Forum at New York City 2013.” says Divya.
She added Laureate had hosted us at an excellent hotel, Yotel Hotel which was in the heart of Manhattan, only three blocks from Times square. This being my first time in New York, I was completely taken aback by the exciting spirit of the city. As a student of fashion marketing, it was a dream come true to walk around 5th Avenue and explore the different fashion brands. Also since I had just attended a summer course at Domus Academy in Milan, this was an opportunity for me to compare the drastically different fashion trends in these two fashion capitals of the world; New York city and Milan.
It was a great learning experience to connect with 27 different students and faculty from different nationalities and culture. Through this interaction I got a chance to learn a bit about the culture of Spain, Mexico and Malaysia. While interacting with the students, what really impacted me was the fact that irrespective of the differences we may have in our nationalities and cultures, we are very similar in our approach. I realized that as a result of global exposure, we are all equally exposed and informed about developments in the world. This was a very unifying feeling and to some extent it seemed to negate culture shock. It was really wonderful for most of us to become very close friends in very little time. In fact, I became very close to my roommate, a student of INTI University Malaysia, a university very special to me as it was my first international exposure with Laureate University where I happened to present my research paper in 2012 and also won the ‘Best presenter’s award’.
Before the conference we had a camera workshop, where we were trained on how to present ourselves in front of the camera. As I was one of the 5 students who had expressed interest in hosting the forum, I was given additional training on public speaking and camera technicalities. We tried out different combinations of student groups for hosting the show depending upon the student rapport. This experience taught me voice modulation and enhanced my speaking skills. To some extent it helped me overcome camera-shyness which was a huge achievement for me.
The conference was held at the iconic venue Radio city music hall which has hosted the Grammy’s and the Tony’s Awards and has had iconic performers by the likes of Frank Sinatra. The venue with its modern technology really did justice to the expectations of students and this was visible especially in Ben Zander an orchestra player’s demonstration on the piano, where he shed light on his views on the ‘art of possibility’ by combining music and leadership. This was validated by the immediate applause and standing ovation by the 5000 attendees in the conference.
Additionally I got a chance to hear 17 different speakers who are experts in the field of marketing and business. The topics were largely centred around new ideas on innovation, technology and leadership. I was personally very motivated by Maggie Wilderotter’s discussion on whether “ leaders are born or raised” and her narration of her own journey on becoming the Ceo of Frontier Communications. Also tea breaks were an opportunity for us to network with people, which I utilised by interacting with business men and other company representatives. I met Jack Welch’s secretary who is currently working on establishing an online MBA program for global students. I also met Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner co–authors of the book Freakonomics.
There was simultaneous learning backstage as I got a chance to host 2 sessions in the conference where I interviewed two of the student groups. I was also chosen to be a part of a discussion on women leaders and on online education. Participating in these discussions increased my confidence as we had to do this impromptu. Also it gave me a chance to utilise the learning in the camera workshop. Meeting the President and the supporting staff of Laureate International universities was very gratifying as they acknowledged us for our work and motivated us to do better.
Being a part of the World Business Forum has motivated me to learn and seek more. I feel more driven to excel. I really value this opportunity and I want to utilise the learning from this experience to motivate young adults and students to apply for global opportunities like this. This experience has increased my confidence, made me a more matured person and enhanced my public speaking skills greatly. Additionally I have gained new knowledge, new experiences and made many new friends and quoting two of them, now “I also have a house in Spain and a home in Mexico”.