Post by George Chewning, 1st year GMBA, who participated in the Spring 2017 Spain short-term abroad program
After interacting with so many entrepreneurs, it was hard to not be inspired. At the end of our exciting week, we had the opportunity to put everything we had learned into practice. The last step in any immersive innovation experience is the pitch. In dynamic teams we brainstormed a disruptive idea, developed a business plan, and perfected our pitch to a potential angel investor.
While many great ideas stemmed from our class, I’m a firm believer that my group’s business concept was the clear winner. Prosperous Student, a full service advisory firm, allows Chinese students enjoy a graduate-level educational experience in Spain. Our expert consultants help prospective students research universities, prepare for entrance exams, submit applications and travel documents, tour Spain, and ultimately get the most out of their international experience. In the development of our plan we implemented many of the techniques and advice we learned from our instructors and the innovators we met. While we weren’t immediately offered an angel investment, we’re confident that the checks will be in the mail soon.
The last half of the trip wasn’t all work, however. Early Thursday morning we trekked to the iconic Park Guell which was one of many of Gaudi’s works in Barcelona. The early hour and arduous climb could not detract from the sheer architectural beauty of the overlook. With the sun rising behind us, we bore witness to the golden birth of a new day in this city of dreamers.
Friday night, after our successful pitch presentations, we attended the Flamenco Opera, a traditional Spanish musical and theatric adventure. So much of culture is communicated through music and dance and Catalan culture is no exception. The performance was a story of love, betrayal, and revenge set to the percussion of clicking fingers and stamping feet. Billowing red dresses complemented the passion of the staccato guitar notes to create an escapade that stirred the soul.
Without concern for our early morning flights, we enjoyed one more night of eating, drinking, and enjoying the new friendships we forged over the past week. We met as a class one more time upon returning to our normal schedules in order to provide feedback on all the sites we visited and innovators we met. But in reality, the class was more like a reunion. I’ve made friends and memories I’m not likely to forget anytime soon.