Plus3 Global Projects

Blog Post 4 - "An experience to remember"

MAY 31th, 2021

Juan Lozano

As I expressed on my last blog prompt, coffee is my daily bread. I can recall the specific moment when I saw on my university´s Instagram a post about Plus3 Global Projects; I was having a cup of coffee because I had just come out of an exam ––and after being in such a stressful situation, coffee cannot be left behind––.


When I read carefully what the project was about, the decision came straight to my head: I am signing up for it. Recording videos has never been one of my favorite things in the world ––to be honest, I hate cameras–– so it was not easy to know what to say. Usually, when a person is asked to tell others about themselves, they appear to know the exact words. I, on the other hand, have never been good at answering those sorts of questions; there is a lot to talk about and a minute and a half seems to be not enough time to share all of the thoughts trapped in my mind. This is how my experience began. Kind of stressful, don´t you agree?


     Leaving behind the video recording ––which I really did not enjoy making––, I believe these past three weeks have been such a good experience for me ––most of them at least––. Time managing is not an easy task for anyone, but I have always considered myself to be quite good at it ––or that is what I used to think before––; however, the main challenge that Plus3 has brought to my table is time managing. Actually, I think it is not entirely because of the program, but because in Latin America, we are on finals ––and calculus has helped to steal my precious time as well––. But in the process, it has become easier to face this difficulty by seeing it from a different perspective: that is just the way things are, hard.


     With that in mind, here is the first lesson Plus3 gave me that is stuck in my mind: time flies. I thought last week was never going to be over; it was hard, boring ––because of school–– and extremely challenging. But now, the only thing I can think of is that it just flew over really fast.

         And along with this stressful situation, another important reflection can be brought up: do not take things for granted. I remember that on the very first lecture, I thought the program was going to be piece of cake because I had been working on microeconomics for a whole semester and it couldn’t kill me… well, Plus3 almost did. I took for granted that all those things that were being told to me were already in my head, and in spite of my best efforts, it was really hard to retain all that information.


     Nonetheless, since listening is one of the most developed skills I got ––from my perception––, I was able put myself together and try to actively pay attention to every single piece of information I was being granted with. As such, I consider that many things are going to be stuck in my head for a while, and along with bunch of new terminology and cultural knowledge, I was able to develop a brand new skill: active communication. I do not know if such a thing already exists, but yesterday, when having a cup of wine and giving some thoughts about these past days, those words came up as the perfect way to describe what me and my group Global CBPU have been doing. Listening actively means to really comprehend what others said by making the message transcend. Now, for me, active communication must go beyond than just listening. In my second blog prompt, I spoke about the three main ways to transmit a message and to comprehend it. However, we usually do not stop to think further when talking or writing.


     At school they teach you that in a conversation there are always two parts involved: the sender and the receiver. To communicate actively means, for me, to let the message transcend; not just in the listener, but also in the person who sends it. I am not a native English speaker, and that has led me sometimes to miscomprehend what I am being told. However, my fellow team members have made it easier for me, because they have taken the time to ask if everything is clear.


     Therefore, I believe that the skill I am telling you about will be one of the most useful weapons to have in my pocket when exercising my career. It does not matter whether I am making business in English or Spanish; what will actually be valuable is that I will be able to fully make myself understand, as well as I will understand others. My father has always said that when we truly learn something, it never goes away. I like to think it is just as he says, and I tempt to fully comprehend things so that they never leave.


     Today, May 25th, I had the interview for being admitted to the second career I want to study: marketing and digital business. While I was talking to the teacher responsible for performing the interview, he asked me what I had learned in the past weeks that I think has added value to my professional life, and I truly could not help talking about Plus3. I explained him what the project was about and with whom I was coursing it, as well as the purpose it has. Certainly, I was not expecting this question, but it made me really happy to be able to expound my experience and show it off a tiny bit.


     I was told once that for making business, the less important thing was the product per se, but it was the way you sold it that made your clients want to acquire it. This is another lesson Plus3 provided me with that left a mark on my being. Pitching may be the most important aspect to bear in mind when speaking about anything. It will allow you to make a hit in others, as such as to be of great impact anywhere you go.


     In conclusion, there are many takeaways from Plus3, and all the people involved in it. The first one is that it does not matter where you are from, your ideas are as valuable as others and they will be heard, only if you know how to spell them out. Another important thing that I am leaving with, is that you should always try to connect the dots. Not only for a project, but for your daily life. When negotiating, when talking to someone, when flirting… you need to look for similarities, for people to feel connected to you and to your ideas. Furthermore, you need to be empathetic with others. It does not matter whether you come from a high or low context way of communication, you need to put yourself in others´ shoes and comprehend what they are thinking, feeling or desiring.


     I left a bit of space in this blog prompt ––which I had almost finished up–– to be able to express my thoughts after the final presentation. All the projects of my peers were well thought and based on facts, which led me to the conclusion that every single person gave their best at doing what they were asked for. I am grateful with my teammates, because we got to work together cohesively and the outcome was better than expected; I am also grateful with all the crew of Pitt and Campus B, because they gave their best at teaching and going by our hands in the full process, as well as all of the participants of the course.


     Last but not least, I can also conclude that writing down twelve hundred words is harder than it seems to be. Though, the key to success is: keep on doing your best.


Thanks for reading! hope you can come to Colombia some time!

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