Lucía Pérez Torres-Muñoz, Business Major, Class of 2011

Since the first day during orientation week at Vesalius College, you realize you’ve become part of a peculiar family. Vesalius College has students from all around the globe, teachers with all kinds of backgrounds, and everyone has a unique story to tell. The story I always tell starts when I decided to start my Bachelor’s degree at Vesalius College. From what I had heard from friends, this college they called VeCo seemed like home. And I was right, it was indeed like home. Since a young age, I was exposed to a highly international environment, and VeCo gave me just that. Being taught by highly trained, multicultural teachers is priceless, and sharing the journey with such a diverse community is a very enriching experience.

The icing on the cake during this amazing journey was with no doubt the opportunity to study abroad. Among all of the options VeCo offers, one institution, CESA, caught my eye, and with a lot of excitement I decided to go to the mysterious country of Colombia. I was greatly surprised to find such an excellent business school on the other side of the world. People at CESA welcomed me with a lot of enthusiasm. The whole experience was unique and unforgettable. CESA has the best professionals teaching its students, and the students have an incredibly proactive and entrepreneurial spirit. It was gratifying to learn so much at CESA and to get to know the local culture. In the end, I learned to love Colombia.

After such an extraordinary experience, and after graduating from VeCo, Iife took me to London, where I did my Master’s degree in International Management. During all those years, Colombia remained on my mind and I kept envisioning myself there in the future. Given my experience in the country, I decided to focus my Master’s dissertation on social entrepreneurship in Colombia. When I arrived in Bogota to do my field research, I reached out to some CESA classmates who helped me enter the local social entrepreneurship ecosystem. A new world opened up to me, and I found myself learning with so much excitement that I realized I had found what I wanted to dedicate my professional life to: social innovation.

Life has a funny way of letting you know what’s good for you. A few months after finishing my Master’s degree, I decided to fly back to Colombia and look for a job in social innovation. After some time with no luck, I was about to pack one more time when I received great news from a very good friend: There was a job position at CESA’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship Center, and it was about social innovation. In other words, my dream job.

Nowadays, I lead CESA’s Social Innovation area, and I must say I feel very grateful to keep learning in an institution that taught me so much as a student. My story is here today because one day I decided to take the opportunity VeCo offered me to embark on a journey to Colombia. My advice to all students is to take advantage of the amazing opportunities their institutions offer. You never know how much the experience can bring to your life.

Lucía Pérez Torres-Muñoz