I graduated… now what?

There are several types of crisis in this world and we all have experienced them at some point in our lives. Parents suffer when their kids grow and leave home, you can suffer a nervous crisis waiting for the grade of your last exam, we also have experienced as a society political, socioeconomic, financial and of course, existential crisis. But nobody anticipates the crisis that you are going to live when you have already passed half of your twenty decade … reaching your 30’s.

We are determined to follow an established pattern of stages to accomplish as we grow. We have a guide since our childhood that tells us what is the next phase that we must overcome. But what happens when you finish the cycle by which we are all immersed?

Knowing our path, that’s the importance

After a lot of effort, coffee cups and sleepless nights, you finish the major that you were forced to choose at your early 18s. You get a job, you become independent and you live your life day by day. It sounds like you’ve reached the top, but the truth is that you’re just starting to get to know yourself. There is no more pattern to follow. There’s only you. You and the decisions you make.

In my personal case, when I was 26 I suffered a strong stakeout in my life. I graduated and at 23, I came to live to Buenos Aires. Leaving your country makes you to live more intensely. Even though I was stable with a good job and a temporary department to live, I had my activities with friends and sometimes I got to travel, I felt deeply empty. That’s when the imminent question comes… where am I going? The end of the eternal adolescence hits you hard. According to Dr. Ricardo Rubinstein, Psychoanalyst of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association, “we live in times that are characterized by burning stages with urgency. There is a social pressure to achieve everything right away”. After spending several weeks locked up and having finished almost the 10 seasons of Friends in just one night, I decided to make a change. That change was going to depend on me and only me.

The million dollar questions

Before any decision, you need to organize yourself: What am I passionate about? What is my talent? What am I investing both my money and my time? What makes me happy? These are some of the questions I asked myself to start this new path. It sounds very cliché, but if we do not start to question ourselves is difficult to reach a goal.

In my case I felt a strong need of learning new things and I realized that it was not as simple as it was in the past. I started ukulele classes that, even though I’m really bad at it, distracted me from my duties and I could expose my brain to activities that required different attention. At the end of each class I felt exhausted and is to be expected since playing music is for the brain the equivalent of a complete physical training.

In my innovation journey, I joined UX Design classes. I’m intrigued to learn how to program and I knew that to get to that, I had to start from the basics. I’m still in the process of reaching that goal, but setting small short-term goals makes it easy to not get lost on the road.

Since I’m always willing to help my community, I decided to get into the TED world. I  took the license to organize TEDxRecoleta and with a group of friends, we organize the first edition of this event. This kept me busy for seven months in an activity that was completely extraprogrammatic bringing something positive to my community . We were able to make an event for 100 people that was a success and the satisfaction you feel after having achieved it, is indescribable (watch the talks here!).

As I am passionate about traveling I decided to get to know at least 3 new places every year. They didn’t have to be far away from where I live, just destinations I had never visited before. In some journeys I was alone and in others accompanied, but I never left apart what makes me smile, traveling. At this stage I also quit my job and now I work in a completely different area from the one I was used to. I have constant challenges that test me in all my capacities and it has helped me to know myself in facets that I had never experienced before.

This month I went to the Vital Global Partnership Voice Mentoring Walk, which takes place simultaneously in more than 80 cities around the world. The initiative consists in couples conformed by young women with potential of leadership, in which both are involved in the reflection on the professional and personal challenges. This was an unique experience in which I had the chance to talk with my mentor about the problems and questions I currently have in every scope of my life. She was the one who insert in my mental hard drive a new question and that will be the 2017 question for me… for what I do the things that I do.

It is important to know that there are years that ask questions and years that answer them. You only regain control if you start living more focused on your interests and values. The small goals that we propose define ourselves and we need to have that turning point to decide what course will be taken in our future. Do not be afraid of losing the guide we once had before and let’s take every opportunity to reinvent ourselves every day.

How the SABF helped me in studying and learning

The amazing thing about the SABF is its great community. Period. Everything is possible thanks to the hard work of many people. SABF also nucleates a large number of intellects, it’s a “magnet” that attracts those who have much to give and receive. It is a very nice experience. This entry also tried to adapt to the themes of previous posts (mentoring and the area of ​​learning and problem solving).

I was a member of the SABF 2016 organizing team. Something great is that one has a mentoring program, among other things, that is, a person dedicated exclusively to talk about everyday things in general. Something I noticed was not taking enough advantage of such program. I only met once with my mentor, and although I asked a lot of questions and learned a lot, not organizing myself during my course of faculty, made it impossible to continue the program. Having learned of the error, luckily, I had a second chance. In August of last year, during the conference, the three most important days of SABF, I met Esteban (Tibi), who was an organizer of SABF 2011. He was in the same department as I was, in Information Technology (IT). I told him that I was having trouble with programming, that I had trouble solving programming problems; Moving from the problem to the paper or to the computer was my biggest problem, not a question of syntax. Tibi told me that he wanted to do a mentoring program, in which he would code with another person and learn from it. And I wanted to participate. Along with Yemel (Yimi), one of the IT department’s inductees, who also wanted to organize this with Tibi, I started meeting once a week in Voltaire and learning more and more. This learning helped me remove the fear I had in solving problems related to programming and to deal with them more easily, as well as to pass the college programming course (where I got an average of 9.25 points out of 10). Voltaire is a coworking space where several people and start-ups work. But it is also a community, where I got help from many and had a good time!

One of Warren Buffett’s commandments is to surround yourself with those people you admire and who you want to be. I think Mentoring is one of the best things, since it is a feedback, in both directions. Also, the role of the university is important, as it seeks to facilitate the problem-solving environment (one of the most important fields for being an engineer) and once again, to strengthen ourselves intellectually and socially through these extraordinary communities (and also approaching them!) 😊

And you, what are you waiting for to join a student organization in your college or university? There are many universities that have in their checklist “to participate in an organization”.

Success and the power of mentorship


“And you ask any successful person how they got to where they are today, chances are they’ll tell you about a mentor they had somewhere along the way.”– Barack Obama[1]

People are complex but, in a great way, we are defined by our environment and ambitions.  Having clear objectives, is the first step towards success, because after that moment you can work towards them.

Today, looking backwards, having gone through university and some first professional experiences I’m convinced that a mentor can bring down obstacles.  The first time I came across a mentor formally was during my participation in the SABF team and I will always be grateful for her dedication.

A mentor gives you the means to improve personal and professional skills. It raises awareness of your strengths and weaknesses to better align yourself towards your goals. It inspires you and brings more confidence when facing challenges.  It´s important to be open minded to receive advice and be willing to work on it.

To find a mentor the most important thing is to learn to approach people for advice.  And to take the most out of the relationship, you have to be honest about your own personal and professional objectives.

Without doubt, if you seek for a mentor you will win opportunities to meet interesting people and enrich your experiences.  Always be open to give advise, people are amazing!

Motivation-manipulation: what makes a good executive?

Men act freely and voluntarily when possible. We do it in a more free way when we know the reason that brings us to action. To motivate, as we have mentioned in “The secret for survival in any organization”, is to show that reason to somebody so he can choose freely.

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The Entrepreneurs and Willpower

There is only one person capable of limiting your own growth: yourself

Every venture begins from a vision, a purpose, a dream, a desire. This is what motivates us, what put us in movement. But, what is the motivation? From the linguistic point of view it is an abstraction, it is not tangible at all but we can translate it by saying it is the fuel, the energy we need to cover the distance between your present and where you want to go, your journey toward that vision, dream or desire.

What do we need in addition to motivation to start this journey? WILL.

The will is closely related to the motivation.

The will is the capacity of human beings that makes us do things intentionally, in spite of the difficulties, setbacks and mood.

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Better the angel you don’t know than the devil you do

We had the opportunity to participate in the workshop “Innovation in companies” organized by the Unión Argentina de Jóvenes Empresarios [Argentinian Union of Young Businessmen] (UNAJE) given by Rolando Meyer, industrial engineer of the ITBA, Design Thinking teacher at Universidad de San Andrés and co-founder of the mobile shopping app Tobuy. We met Rolando in the tenth edition of the South American Business Forum (2014), and in this workshop he showed us the advantages of leaving our comfort zone and plunging into the wonderful world of innovation.

“To innovate is to transform knowledge”

The term “design thinking”, so in vogue nowadays in large and small organizations, refers to the designers’ way of thinking applied to business. To innovate is nothing else that to work on something that doesn’t exist, to work in the future. To do it, we must bear in mind certain maxims:

  • “Un-learning is as important as learning”.
  • “To innovate is to challenge the status quo”.
  • “Everything that exists today was once imagined”.

A starting point is not to have fixed limits in the creative process, to go beyond feasibility, since every innovation in its time was slightly feasible or viable. We may well say that the best part of learning from mistakes is having made them.

An innovator is someone who is after the novelty, without asking why but why not and what for.

We are all creative since childhood, but we unlearn it. We cease marvelling about the contingent of the reality and the world and we content ourselves with a superficial and comfortable look. Everything around us might not have been, but it is. And we take it for granted. We must again trust in our creative eye and marvel at our surroundings.

Those shooting stars called ideas…

Ideas come and go. They appear when we are not looking for them. At any time. They are untimely. Taking into account the untimeliness ideas may have in their origin, it is always advisable to write down, whether it is in paper or in screen, what our intellect creates. And not to fool ourselves by saying, “I’m going to remember it”. If we let them go we may not see them again since, in this sense, ideas resemble shooting stars.

“It is not about how good you are, but how good do you want to be”

While ideas are like shooting stars, the creative process and the act of thinking can be compared with a physical activity: it needs training. There is a series of steps and basic attitudes to give birth to ideas. These steps or “ingredients” are as follows: design thinking

  1. The collection of information, of the raw material we extract directly from information sources. It is determinant in our context and environment.
  2. The chewing of the information, the analysis. The tasting of the idea.
  3. Then, the incubation. An internal process in which our brain matures the processed information from our environment.
  4. This whole process can lead to the idea. It is important to write it down!
  5. The adaptation is important, because every idea is an anecdote of what it is going to be.

Once the idea generation process is known, we must highlight the mood and attitude that lead us to be a serial idea generator. Some proactive attitudes are:

  1. Confidence attitude, believing. There are opportunities everywhere, we just need other eyes. To readapt our look.
  2. Serendipity attitude. An induced causality. Attention to what is happening around us. Attentive and sharp mental predisposition. Predisposition to see.
  3. Exploratory attitude. Not only externally, but internally. To develop our sensitivity.
  4. “Doer” attitude, action oriented, always doing and trying, over and over again.
  5. A combined planning and improvising attitude. These two extremes are too rigid and too flexible at the same time but are important in any creative process.
  6. Stubborn attitude, always doing “trial and error”.
  7. “I ask for forgiveness but not for permission” attitude, disrespect for the status quo. Enough madness to think about changing the world, and being able to do so.
  8. Inspiring attitude. We live in this world and we are inspired by models. Copy-paste attitude: we take things from others.

Finally, it is difficult to think differently but to do so we must take into account how things were done in the past. At the beginning of the fifteenth century, for example, it was unthinkable that there was another continent in the world (America!). At the end of the twentieth century, the iPhone was almost unfeasible.

The creativity issue lies in inducing the unthinkable thinking. Every idea is a combination of old elements. We must go beyond. Urgency may be the mother of innovation.

Why being realistic if reality can be changed? Are you ready to innovate?

How SABF changed my life

When I made up my mind to write this article; at first, I thought of writing especifically about one of the talks that was given in last year´s SABF, and how this talk made me think again a lot of aspects regarding the direction my career was heading to.
But then, I realized that this single talk, as enlightening as it had been for me, not quite caught the great change in the way I now think my future and my career, that the SABF as a whole, made me experience.
At this point in my professional education I have no doubt, and who knows me, knows it: the SABF was the beginning of a new life and the source of new motivatión and enthusiasm for my studies. In this brief post, I will try to express why this conference has the potential of being a life changing experience and how it changed mine.

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13 Lessons learnt from World Business Dialogue ’13

  1. Family in Business. The most successful companies, and the most prone to survive crises are family owned. Treating the company as a part of your identity sparkles innovation and creativity; marvelous example is the Ferrero company ( where the founder Michele Ferrero designs almost all products. Moreover, when a company is hit by exogenous factors and economic hardships, the family as a whole acts as a catalyst in the survival of the firm due to the personal connection the members have established with its existence.

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CONTINUITY, SUCCESS, Continuity, Success, continuity, success …

“Compromiso Joven” is a project led and created by students from the University of San Andrés located in the district of San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The project was born as a result of the negative social impact that led to the economic and political crisis of 2001. In that year a million Argentines were restricted of the extraction of cash from deposits, accounts and savings triggering a situation of lack of a permanent president and a social upheaval. Every since that time, the main objective of the organization has been to contribute to the development of a responsible and committed to their reality society, creating spaces for reflection and interaction that involved actors of the university and the community in which it is inserted.

For more than a decade “Compromiso Joven” has been promoting a social responsibility commitment in UdeSA and in its area of influence, as well as a mutual learning between the parties involved. “Compromiso Joven” seeks to connect diverse realities that would otherwise remain isolated from each other, and seems to be succeeding in its work.

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Group Dynamics

The “Group Dynamics” was organized by Cristina Gutierrez, Directora y Coach Senior, Hacer Historia Consultores. The idea was that participants try to connect with their origin because that is the background of their identity.

Firstly, the activity consisted of joining in groups of two where one of them have to define his vision for 3 years. On the other hand, the other member of the group have to take three different attitudes: ignorance, denial and acceptance. In this way, the participants learned that in real world we face everyday with these attitudes but not for that we have to stop believing in our vision.

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