My name is Magaly Perez and I am the girl in the picture. I arrived to Raleigh carrying lots of expectations, a little bit of nerves, and 25 pounds of clothing. I asked Ryan to take this photo the minute I went off her car, after she picked me up at the airport and took me to Think House. (My room was the one upstairs with the four windows.)
I had been abroad before, but believe me when I tell you that Think House felt completely different from any other dorms I have stayed in, from the very first minute. My first view of the place was a table full of people from all over the world eating home-made pasta and salad.
During the whole program, being surrounded by different cultures and habits really broad my vision about the whole world. From each one of my colleagues I learnt interesting facts about the way their cultures approach people, problems, and life in general.
Just to mention some, I learnt that Indians are structured, disciplined, hard-working, and extremely smart. I learnt that people in Prague may seem cold, they do not like physical contact as much as we Mexicans do, but they are loyal and trustworthy. About Armenians, they feel super proud of their country and history.
Here is a picture of my LE friends. We were downtown celebrating Fourth of July among dressed up Americans, live music, free samples, and tons of fried food. Later that day, we hurried up to make it on time for the fireworks. It was nice seeing a lot of families at the bridge, and -at that time we did not know- but we were just about to become a family, too.
Talking about the classes, do not expect the typical classroom, or the typical classmates. Every session at HQ Raleigh (the greatest co-working space ever, located at the heart of Raleigh) we learnt something different, met someone with an amazing story, and worked on our projects… because that was one of the coolest parts of LE: developing your own enterprise.
After a morning of learning, we would go and intern at a local startup. I do not want to brag, but mine was the best: Malartu Funds, the company with the smartest and best-looking bosses! (PS: Miss you, Jon and Sean!).
To be honest, we were always busy. I cannot remember a minute of boredom or laziness; and I loved that! However, we gave ourselves some time to go around Raleigh. My favorite spot: that little square on Fayeteville Street, in front of Happy+Hale, where you can sit and gossip with your friends while having a snack.
Many things surprised me during LE; but mainly, the way I changed my perspective about myself. I have never considered myself as creative before. I was one of those people who studied numbers because they are always the same.
After being part of LE, I discovered a new side of me that I have not before. Plus, I became a lot better at teamwork and brainstorming, and I learnt that I love going out of my comfort zone; especially if that means meeting extraordinary people, with bright minds and creative ideas.
This is an amazing experience of networking, entrepreneurship, and personal development that you do not want to miss!