Christian Daniel Dominguez Agiss, Mexico
MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship
Class of 2016
Paulo Coelho once said that life is like a train, and that every moment or memory is a station. No matter how many stations we go through, the train runs its course, and the only thing we are left with is the memory of each experience. Sometimes we decide to avoid or to ignore some stations, while other times we descend, trying to find a purpose. Sometimes we change course, we turn to different horizons or we simply stop at a station for so long that it seems we have lost direction.
However, in this train of memories, every station is a unique and unrepeatable memory, represented by people, places, moments, situations and ideas. In this sense, we all have the commitment to make the best out of every station, because the interesting thing about this journey is not the destination but the journey itself.
I found myself at a ‘station’ in the North of England, a cloudy-rainy city under the name of Manchester. I had just arrived on a six hour flight from Mexico to Washington, two hours connection, and six hours from the US capital to Manchester. With a jet lag that threatened to kill me, plus two big trunks and a backpack hanging from my shoulders, I left the airport wearing no more than a light jacket, just to perceive the first elements that made me realize I was far from home: the chilly air and the cloudy sky. However, even when it was completely different to the weather in my country (where cloudy days are occasional and the sun greets you everyday), there was something in the atmosphere that I was able to sense, something nice, embracing, hospitable… It was just as if the city was welcoming me as a host welcomes a guest. Manchester was saying: WELCOME to your new home!
Six weeks after that first day in my new home, I am left with nostalgic feelings of how fast time flies. They say time flies when you’re having fun. But I had only occasionally experienced it until now. And so many things have happened since that first day that I landed in this city —wandering around Victorian buildings surrounded by the constant buzz of a busy crowd— that when I think in retrospective I would like to go back in time and re-experience so many moments that will definitely stay in my mind forever.
Amongst these memories that I’d like to share, there is the sensational experience of being part of such an amazing group of young people studying IME (MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship) at Alliance Manchester Business School. The students were so welcoming that by the first week they were already organizing events, meetings and parties of course. Throughout these past three months, I’ve seen people full of energy and ideas, from different backgrounds and nationalities.
If there is one asset that defines this group it is diversity. There will never be a boring day with these people, because, ever since I arrived, I have learned so many things about different cultures that you begin to outline the similarities between nationalities rather than the differences across countries.
A couple of weeks after the beginning of the programme, we travelled to the Lake District for a series of dynamics at Brathay intended to enforce our relationship (truth be told, these relationships were quite enforced by then, however it gave us the chance to meet more fellow students, to create awareness of the importance of teamwork and diversity, and to face our fears as well). The experience was a total blast!
Moving on to life in Manchester, I think that this city has exceeded my expectations. Besides the fact that Manchester’s Student Union is constantly organising events, the city itself offers a wide variety of places to go and things to do, that you feel a constant need of spending your days trying new things. Whatever your tastes are, there is always something to do.
In my own journal of experiences, several things come to my mind: the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City and Sevilla; my first visit to Old Trafford Stadium, supporting United (of course); the amazing Imagine Dragons concert at Manchester Arena and Disclosure at Manchester Central, as well as the constant meetings with friends in restaurants, local pubs and clubs, nationality parties with my fellow IME students (we have had a Chinese, an Indian and a Latino, so far), jazz nights, cinema premieres, Indian spectacular Diwali celebration, delicious Chinese hot pots (where working in teams is just the perfect excuse to have a feast) and those compulsory visits to the Christmas Market in Albert Square…
As I said at the beginning, the interesting thing about a journey is not the destination, but the journey itself. And although many of us might have different goals, we find ourselves in the same station. It is our commitment to make the best out of it!