How to create an opportunity from an empty seat
Written by Raphael Fonseca, Global Ambassador and Masters in International Marketing student Class of 2018.
You are probably wondering why empty chairs and opportunities are connected, but I promise that at the end of this article it will all make sense.
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Raphael, I am a twenty-seven year old student from Brazil. I am currently studying for a Masters in International Marketing degree at Hult International Business School in Boston. Here I am… after one of my classes, writing on my laptop in my new bedroom and trying to explain how I got to this point.
After I graduated in Business Administration, I worked for the biggest private gas station company in Brazil, with more than seven thousand stations and three thousand franchises. I worked in different areas of the company and learned a lot during the past six years. But (there is always a “but”), during my last vacation in April, through Argentina and Uruguay, I thought a lot about whether or not it was the career that I always dreamed of. I had the idea of having an international career, and I knew that working within a company without plans to expand their operation abroad perhaps wasn’t the best option. I already had the idea of studying abroad to start my quest for a global career, but at that moment, I didn’t even know what subject or in which country I should study.
On the same trip I realized that I needed to make a change, Brazilian friends were making hotel reservations for their wedding in October. At that moment, without anything certain about my future, I said that I wouldn’t reserve the hotel because there was a chance I may not be in Brazil at that time. Crazy, no?
Looking back today, I’m sure that the first step to conquering anything you want is to truly believe that it is going to happen. You, more than anybody, need to believe that you can do it. Even when you don’t know exactly what you want to do, the fact that you realize you need to change is a good beginning. Unfortunately, just that isn’t enough. This is the part where many people fail – they wait for the opportunity to come and knock on their door, instead of creating their own. I’m not saying that it’s easy to take action, but when you do, that’s when big things can happen.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”– Pablo Picasso
One month after that trip, I searched on LinkedIn for a former co-worker who had left the company two years before to study at a business school in America. I sent him a message asking about the school, and that school was Hult. Until that day, I’d never heard about it. I didn’t expect a quick answer, but to my surprise, he answered a couple of hours later and strongly recommended the program. That same day, I researched more about the school and realized it was exactly what I was looking for. So, what makes Hult different?
– The one-year MBA program that allows you to get back to your career quickly
– The diversity of nationalities (in my program alone there are people from 42 different countries)
– The career advice throughout the program that helps you to discover your passions and motivations.
With all of those reasons in mind, I applied on the same day.
The next step
You can imagine what happened after that. I went through the application process, from interviews to the student visa in three months. It wasn’t easy to manage everything while still working, but after the first two months of classes, I can say that it was all definitely worth it.
A few days ago, my friend got married in Brazil and I received a picture of my empty seat at the reception table while I was watching a startup pitch competition on the Boston campus. This picture made me reflect on the power of the combination of “belief and action” and my personal journey on how and why I chose Hult. Making huge life decisions is never easy, but if you don’t have the courage to pursue your goals, despite fear, the only option is to accept what life chooses for you. And believe me, you will prefer the first option.
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Raphael Fonseca is a MIM student at the Hult Boston campus. He is passionate about traveling and has a world map is his room with pins in the places he goes to. Not that many (yet). He is a photography enthusiast (still learning) and fan of reading. (He is also addicted to parentheses).
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