It’s August 1st. Clearly July has gone but what will never be gone are the memories from the iFlex face2face week in Buenos Aires from July 24 to 29, 2017.
Let me tell you that our group is very special. We are creative, emotional, academic, serious, ambitious, passionate, friendly, diversified and most importantly we are the “first” international iFlex group.
So we will always be special in the beautiful pages of history and beyond.
When I enrolled in the iFlex program, I was not sure what to expect. I was probably thinking this is just another distant learning program where I will learn remotely and that is that.
Do you know what? I was wrong. It is not distance learning but the experience of a lifetime. Something that enriches you and makes you grow not just academically but also socially. I met around 35 people from different households, backgrounds and lifestyles (either social or professional).
I am a Pakistani residing in Dubai and going to Buenos Aires is almost like going to a neighborhood near the moon. People who come from my area do not tend to visit Latin America, as it is a world unexplored and very far away (you are looking at a flight of 32 hours with connection/transit time).
Arriving in BA was refreshing. Meeting your colleagues again after almost 9 months was an experience on its own. People who have been working with you via digital platforms like Skype are now in front of you to laugh, cheer and share a meal. It is something one cannot express in words.
If I had to give a name to my Buenos Aires experience I would call it “Education with Social Motivation”. No matter which business you are in and no matter what you do, your whole ecosystem of life is based around one thing – “it is all about people.” The more time you spend with different people, the richer you get.
So the Education with Social Motivation continued and we were warmly welcomed by our Director, Professor Riccardo Mangiaracina. We first spent two amazing days learning about cultural diversity and how to handle it in the workplace with Professor Raffaella Bossi Fornarini. I must say it was eye-opening for all of us and one cannot miss the motivational session with Alejandro Melamed.
We had a fantastic outing to the IAE business school, which is a truly historical institution. When I went to the Argentinian Embassy in Abu Dhabi to get my visa, I had the pleasure of meeting the Argentinian Ambassador. He was absolutely right when he told me that IAE is a very prestigious institution to visit and one must experience its beauty.
We explored the history of Argentina and, considering the economic ups and downs the country has experienced, its development is truly remarkable. It was a memorable day at one of the most prestigious institutions in Latin America.
As the week continued, we studied soft skills in-depth. We also learned a lot of management techniques like time management, public speaking, active listening and critical thinking skills from the one and only Mr. Filippo Passerini, who conducted the training like a legend. We also did some fantastic role play activities that taught us leadership skills and management techniques.
As we all know, we are living in an era of IT and Digital revolution and a visit to Digital House (the coding school) endorsed just that. It was a fantastic experience, where we learnt about how a group of passionate people had built such an awesome facility with the support of IT and Digital industry giants in Argentina such as Mercado Libre.
No group activity is complete without some informal interaction and we had our share of outings, dinners and parties throughout the week, which made it a perfect combination of academic and social activities.
I really hope that my colleagues feel the same about my expressions and remarks in this article and I wish them all the best.