Latin American Leaders Attend MSB Program
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 02:02
Young professionals from Latin America arrived on the Hilltop last week for Georgetown’s Global Competitiveness Leadership Program.
The program, which was launched in 2007 by the university’s Latin American Board, aims to teach students how to tackle the longstanding economic challenges their countries face.
According to Paul Almeida, McDonough School of Business senior associate dean of executive education, the program is unique because of the participants’ passion for social entrepreneurship.
“Most of [the GCL participants] specialize in social entrepreneurship. For me, that’s a huge thing,” Almeida said. “They have this common passion for making a difference. It’s incredibly inspiring.”
This year’s 38 participants are between 24 and 34 years old and were chosen in a competitive application process for their demonstrated leadership abilities. The program, which lasts 12 weeks, covers the students’ tuition, room, board and travel while in Washington, D.C.
While at Georgetown, the students will take a variety of courses offered by faculty in the MSB, the School of Foreign Service and the College.
The classes aim to give participants a deeper understanding of Latin America and arm them with practical skills in business and management so they can make an impact when they return to their home countries.
Upon their return, the students will launch their own action-learning projects — social initiatives that they will plan while at Georgetown.
“Most of them may not have had the business training to make these very worthy projects a reality, and that’s what coming here gives them,” Almeida said. “It gives them exposure; it gives them insight. It’s how to make a real difference on the ground.”
In one week-long course, students will represent different Latin American companies and participate in activities that will give them experience in working environments that place a premium on competitiveness and alliances.
“It’s very live learning; it’s not just sitting in class,” Almeida said.
One week into the program, Marco Pires, a journalist from Brazil, has already found the program engaging.
“The program has been great so far,” Pires said. “The staff is really helpful and the classes are top-notch. We always have high-level discussions during sessions.”
In particular, Pires appreciates how the program fosters a sense of community among the diverse student body, which includes people of different backgrounds from across Latin America.
“When you put in the same space a bunch of self-motivated people with a lot of ideas, you realize we all face the same problems,” Pires said. “That means we have a very powerful opportunity to help each other with our skills and networking to solve real world problems that we all share. … To me, this is very special.”