From Singapore to Dubai

By Leonardo Banegas, Global MBA student 2012-2013, Honduras

“We arrived in Singapore 10 days ago and now we are packing again to travel to Dubai this week, where we will present our social business solution in the Hult-Prize Competition, which aims to guarantee food security in the Urban Slum”

This part of the Global MBA is really exciting; two weeks ago we were in France wearing our heavy winter clothes every day, now we are enjoying the tropical climate of Singapore. It is a dramatic change.  But it’s not just about the change of climate but also about the changes in our daily life activities. Our residences are located just three minutes walking from Orchard Road, which is the main shopping street of Singapore. Some of my classmates can spend the day walking in the shopping malls, others swimming in the pool of our residences, and others just doing outdoor activities that take advantage of the climate.

As you can see in the pictures below, we have a serious problem with our classrooms. It is difficult to stay concentrated in class when we have a spectacular view of the skyscrapers and other modern architecture around the National Library Building of Singapore, where ESSEC is located now.  Our experience in the campus in Singapore is also quite different. We have plenty of options for food, shopping malls close by, and we can easily arrive by metro.

Now after ten days in Singapore, my teammates and I are getting ready to travel to Dubai this week.  We will participate in the Hult Prize, which is organized in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, for creating a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship. For the 2013 Prize, Ex-President Clinton has selected the challenge: “the Global Food Crisis.”

The last several weeks have been intense because the project is in addition to our normal MBA curriculum. We have to coordinate our time efficiently and evaluate all the feedback that we have received from different experts on the topic. But even if the project requires extra time, it is worth it. It really brings us a lot of satisfaction to go beyond the academics and try to make an impact for real global issues, and we feel satisfied from the huge learning process in this topic. Last weekend, part of our team went to Jakarta to explore the urban slums and see the conditions and reality of the slums in Indonesia in order to make sure that our solution responds to the specific needs of food security there.

In Dubai, we will have two demanding days for training, networking, preparation and presentations.  During the second day we will present our social business solution in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and then we will close with the Banquet Dinner and the after party, where we will have the opportunity to network with students coming from the top business schools around the world. 

Finally in our free day, we plan to explore the city and do a safari desert trip, which includes camel rides, dune driving, belly dancing, Hubbllee Bubblee (shisha), etc. All this thanks to the Arabic hospitality and generosity from one of our classmates from Qatar!

[gallery columns="4" ids="844,843,841,842,840,839"]

1 comment:

  1. Hi Olivia,

    It is really fun being in Singapore. I have lived in Singapore & Dubai and in terms of accessibility I think Singapore beats Dubai quite well.