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.
Looking back one year, I am completely convinced that all the incredible things that happened to me in recent times and the new motivation that I have respecting laboral future started and were triggered right away by my participation on SABF.
So I propose you to go back almost one year…
Back then I was, maybe, in a similar position as yourselves. I had heard fairly much about the SABF: ex-organizers had told me what it was about, and friends , who had taken part as participants in previous editions, had remarked that it was an unique experience. But seriously, at that moment I really didn’t understand what it really was about. Or maybe I thought I knew what it was, when actually the SABF ended up widely exceeding my expectations. Anyway, and simply with the desire of trying something new, I wrote the essay and applied for that year’s SABF.
I was selected, when that happened, I was obviously really happy, but I must say, I wasn’t “completely thrilled” , so to say…. I haven`t got a clue of what I was about to experience… At this point I think it is necessary to mention that I am in fourth year of Informatics Engineering at ITBA, and, as many times use to happen among computer science students, we think that the only activities that are worthy of being carried out are the ones that are related directly with the technical. Also, I consider necessary to clarify that at that moment I was going through one of the worst moments of my life. I was studying almost 90% of the time, I didn’t go out a single day, and, on top of it I was doing rather bad in the university. All the people who know what it is to devote oneself entirely to one side of life, and don’t see results, understand the type of frustration I’m talking about.
But getting back to what concerns us… how has SABF changed my life? What make it such a unique and enriching experience, that is so difficult to express?
At the present time, every time someone asks me: Why the “SABF is so cool?” or “Why should I apply?”, I always say the same things: first, is the opportunity to listen to and converse with top level lecturers about really interesting global topics that affect Latin America directly, that affects us as a generation and that transcend us as individuals; and second, that is the opportunity to interact with interesting, charismatic and ambitious people from all around the world (and when I say all, I really mean all, from Zimbabwe to Bulgaria) who truly have incredible values, experiences and points of views to share. The talks with the participants and speakers make us reflect on one’s life and career, and are a unique starting point to realize that one is actually looking into life and to understand the direction that one’s own academic life is heading to… Also, some other minor aspects could be mentioned…, like the possibility of practicing a lot of English – due to the multiculturality of the conference, it forces one to speak in English almost all the time- or the awesome parties with the participants.
All these angles of SABF participation, in my opinion, not to even express a quarter of the possibilities and the opportunities that this conference triggers. And this is due to, besides of the unique experience that this forum is per se, the best comes after.
Having been part of SABF, not only your resume grows immensely, but the possibilities of taking part in other conferences of the same type in other parts of the world, the potentiality of winning academic scholarships to go to other countries and the likelihood of getting truly interesting jobs, grow exponentially. And as I say, they grow not only for the fact of being part of our resume, but for the incredible network of ex-participant friends that we get, people that are continuously aware of the opportunities and challenges, and that not only stimulate us to look for new experiences, but that, more specifically, help us to undertake them. They are proactive and compromised people, with whom one can undertake new projects and ideas that could contribute to create a better world.
Personally, this opportunity of taking part of SABF changed my life, since it made me see that there are quite a lot of other possibilities for an informatics engineer that to devote himself exclusively to programming and the technical side of the career, and as it introduced me to the world of the “young international movement” and of the business conferences, such an appealing and stimulating world that is difficult to leave behind. These are movements that allow you to travel around the world sharing experiences that make your personal life grow in plenty of directions, and that are incredible fun.
Thanks to SABF I had the opportunity to win a scholarship to study in Germany, the to be a delegate of the World Business Dialogue in Cologne, and to work as Google Student Ambassador. And the great majority of the people who participated got and get similar opportunities.
I sincerely hope that my experience motivates you to apply for this year´s SABF and I also profoundly count on that it can change your lifes as much as is changing mine.
SABF was without doubts one of the best experiences of my life and I think it’s truly impossible to entirely transmit what you feel in this experience, during, and after it. I deeply recommend trying it by yourself, that’s the only way to know what it feels like.
So, I challenge you to apply and change your lives.