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Strategic Reflection. Where would I be without coffee?…

I love coffee. I was raised in a petite farm in San Salvador, in the middle of gardens and trees,  birds, animals and lots of flowers. I was raised in a middle-class family in San Salvador, and I never had luxuries or high-end life style. Never. I just had nature around me, which is the best gold you can get.

Semita con cafe, o cafe con semita? Por igual, siempre es mejor si es Family Oven. #elsalvador #familyovensv #panaderia #semitarellenadepiñaypanela #semita #pandulce

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My parents taught me to study and work hard all my life. I never had money, but a beautiful mind. And that is how I started to dream to reach new heights. Every day when living at my parents’ petit farm, coffee was part of our everyday life. Since I woke up, I remember the smell of fresh coffee from the kitchen. For breakfast, before going to school, we always ate sweet pastries and coffee with milk. That wonderful coffee which has been part of me all my life.

I had the opportunity to study in foreign lands after I graduated as a Civil Engineer… During all my undergraduate engineering studies, a cup of coffee was with me. When I had to study and prepare my exams, a cup of coffee kept me awake after midnight…  All those nights, my mom´s coffee was with me… always…

When I started to work as an engineer, to my surprise, wow!!!, I found it horrible. I realized I did not like to work in Civil Engineering, and it was a huge frustration because I said to myself: “I have lost all these years for nothing, I simply don´t like to be a Civil Engineer, I don´t like to do what I studied”…  I never liked to work as a civil engineer, because I felt so technically square. When deciding to apply for my master degrees, that cup of coffee was next to me… My soul wanted to learn about business and economics. And I started to apply to several universities outside my country.

I wanted to do an 180 degrees revolution career change from engineering to business administration and economy affairs. Image result for edificio campus vicuna mackenna escuela de administracion pontificia universidad catolica de chileAnd that is how I went to pursue a full-time MBA degree in Santiago, Chile; at one of the top Chilean recognized schools,  Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. In Santiago, a cup of coffee was next to me… every single day. I remember I always asked my parents to send me coffee from the petit farm, because I did not like the Coffee Supermarket offer from Santiago, and I missed the coffee from my land.

Image result for london business school best picturesAs part of my MBA, I went to London Business School as an international exchange student for one semester. I spent some months in London, and I adored London Business School courses in Strategy and Finance, I loved to live near Baker Street, not just because of the University and Regent´s Park, but because of the people, I met there. Still, to this day, I treasure all those friendships I did from that time. In London, a cup of coffee was next to me always…

Related imageFinally, I got a tuition fellowship to go to study to Cornell University in the USA, to pursue a second master degree in Engineering Management (with a concentration in Finance). I was living in Ithaca, so cold so windy and beautiful. Cornell campus was a dream come true for me, I was so blessed to study there… and a cup of coffee was next to me during all those freezing winter months…

From there I ended being hired to work for a boutique investment bank, a division of a multinational Swiss-Swedish corporation, with corporate headquarter offices located in Zurich, Switzerland. When I moved to Zurich, in that investment bank office, coffee was an essential part of my working time.  I remember it was the first time in my life I could see and use an automatic specialty coffee machine for Americano, Espresso, Lattes, Cappuccinos, etc. It was the first time I saw the “Kaffeemaschine mit pads”! You have no idea how happy I was to touch a screen display and in seconds I could drink a caramel macchiato with a hazelnut aroma… and yes, there was a cup of delicious coffee next to me every single day.

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I lived in Zurich, Switzerland for some years. I was doing financial advisory and structured finance for project finance deals such as energy plants and other infrastructure projects such as railways, water and irrigation projects in emerging markets.  I had the opportunity to assess the feasibility of new business opportunities at a strategic level, I also prepared several information memorandums, developed financial modeling for several projects, participated in negotiations rounds, roadshows, etc… And there was a cup of coffee next to me… Every single day when working in Switzerland, that cup of coffee represented a memory of my land, a country which produces one of the best coffees in the world.

Since I was a little enfant, I remember the smell,  the taste and gracious flavor of coffee…

It's proven that having something warm in your hands will improve your mood--try it!

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Everywhere I go, coffee has been part of my life. I learned to love coffee in my mom´s kitchen, 35 years ago… every morning she always served us fresh coffee with milk and a piece of sweet bread… And every morning that cup of coffee was a pleasure, was family love in the air for me… My love for coffee is not opportunistic… It is a family tradition… Coffee is love in a mug. Every morning, when drinking coffee, I could hear the nature talking to us about the love of God. Every sip of coffee  is a moment that reminds me to give thanks to God for another day of life. It is a ritual, coffee is a blessing to be cherished, and oh! that adorable smell… that beautiful coffee…  I do appreciate life when I drink coffee every day. I give thanks to God for the miracle of life.

Where would I be without coffee?


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