The International American Dream

Posted Mrz 17, 2014 by Edgardo Macias Cortes

It’s Wednesday afternoon. My plane is minutes away from landing at Logan International Airport, and I feel strangely calm. Boston, Massachusetts is right before my eyes, and Hult International Business School is just a short distance away. This hasn’t fully dawned on me.

Maybe I’m just too sleepy. Maybe I’m just too hungry. Or maybe I’m simply overwhelmed by the emotional roller coaster the past few weeks have been. The Hult ride starts before it starts. At least it did for me.

Now, my trip to Boston is coming to an end. I’ve been deep into my thoughts, and when I come back to reality, I’m standing with tons of luggage in the middle of the airport. I realize there is no way I can use public transportation to reach…home? I guess that’s what I should call the place where I’ll be living for a year. But how can you think of a house that you’ve never seen before as “home”?

In case you haven’t noticed, the start of my Hult year could have used better planning.

I exit the airport and take a taxi. After a few turns and a couple of tunnels, it happens: we’re riding across the Bunker Hill Bridge and I get a nice view of the city. It’s real. I am here. After weeks of stress and preparation, I have the honor and the privilege of enjoying this view, this city and the entire experience.

We stop at a red light and I see a big American flag to my left. Like it or not, it symbolizes many things—like the American dream.

We’ve all heard of it. Some say they come to the U.S. pursuing it. Some say it doesn’t exist anymore. Others say it never did.

So what exactly is the American dream?

In my opinion, there is no such thing as the American dream; it’s an idea that means different things for different people. Instead, I’d say there are many American dreams. Mine is special. It is both American and international. I look back at how it started while the trip in the taxi continues.

It was 2010. I had a health problem that had kept me from studying or working for six months. At age 26, I felt like my life and my professional career had come to a halt. I felt like a complete failure.

Then, I heard about a summer seminar in the U.S. It would give me the chance to spend one week at a university hearing lectures on political science and talking to college students from around the world. All I had to do was apply online and pay for my plane ticket.

Neither my health nor my wallet were in good shape, but I decided to give it a try, get out of my comfort zone, and go for an international experience. It was the best decision I ever made.

I spent a week with international students who were proactive, energetic and intellectually curious. There were young people from different countries and cultures exchanging ideas, values and mutual acceptance. We were budding professionals, gaining knowledge and experience in order to work for something bigger than ourselves to, simply put, build a better world.

After that, I realized that as much as I love Mexico, one language, one culture and one country were no longer enough for me. I wanted that international experience again, and for me, the U.S. was the best place to seek it. It’s said that you attract that which you wish. It must be true, because soon after, I received a call from Hult International Business School. I accepted the opportunity because I believed it would give me exactly what I was seeking: the international American dream.

I arrive at my new house half an hour after leaving the airport. I stand with my luggage in front of the house. It looks OK on the outside. I ring the bell and the door opens. It’s Paul, the youngest of my roommates. He welcomes me home and gives me a tour around the house. It’s a total mess. Not much furniture and pretty dirty. I should have expected it, and now I appreciate my room back home much more. Am I having second thoughts about this? Nonsense. I convince myself it will look better once we install ourselves.

A few hours later I meet the rest of my roommates face to face for the first time. They seem very happy to see me and that makes me feel much better. We chat and have fun while we work to put the house in better shape. Paul cooks for all of us and we have a great time. We take a picture together, excited to start our MBA experience.

I smile at the thought. I am a Mexican guy, in an American city, driven from the airport by a Polish driver to a house where I’ll live for a year with a Brazilian, two Nigerians and a Filipino. I want to become a citizen of the world. Living with these great roommates is just the perfect start. I wonder what dreams they came here to pursue, and I know I’ll find out sooner or later.

There are many questions ahead. Where will we all be one year from now? What experiences will we have during our MBA at Hult? There is much uncertainty ahead. But I know something for certain: there will be laughter, tears, fun, frustration, lessons and self-development.

And this, my friends, is what Hult is all about. It’s about leaving your comfort zone and embracing uncertainty. It’s about broadening your horizons and embracing a larger, multicultural world. It’s about seeking and accepting challenges and self-development. It’s about risk, adventure and growth. It’s about dreams, struggles, and passion.

Time to sleep, Orientation is tomorrow. I go to bed happy and nervous at the same time, thinking of the year ahead. I came to this country because I believe my international American dream starts at Hult. Am I right? Guess I’ll find out.

Edgardo Macias is a Hult Global Ambassador. He is an MBA student at Hult Boston, a finance professional, and an amateur musician with a great passion for math, teaching and intellectual discussion.

Photo courtesy of VidtheKid

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