At the WCIA, we understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 has been difficult for so many people across the world. At the beginning of the pandemic, we reached out to people worldwide to share global perspectives on COVID-19, recognising the global nature of the issue, and some of the similarities and differences of experiences in different countries. We wanted to identify and share both the positive and negative stories emerging from the situation. Over a year on from the start of the pandemic, we’re reaching out again…
Originally from Madrid, Santi works in our WCIA Communications team. He has a background in Communications, Latin American Politics, and Spanish teaching. He reached out to Tari Belani, a Spanish national who is currently pursuing her dream of studying an MBA in the USA.
Here’s her story:
“COVID-19 is a word that has been a turning point in many people’s lives, certainly in mine. When the pandemic hit Spain – one of the most affected countries – I was working for one of the largest retailers in Europe. My day-to-day life changed drastically unexpectedly. I went from being in a different place every day, out of the office in the headquarters as I used to be, to being confined home.
“Every citizen had a duty to be able to help in any way they could”
“But the pandemic gave me an opportunity to contribute something to society. In a scenario where healthcare workers were doing their best, every citizen had a duty to be able to help in any way they could. I did that through my company by helping out in their supermarkets – the only thing that remained open along with the pharmacies during the lockdown. I helped with food deliveries in a situation where people were afraid to leave their homes, in the abyss of not knowing what was happening and what would happen next.
“After helping out for a few months doing this work, I was able to return to the project I was doing before. But the return was not the same anymore, and I had time to reflect and understand something that, being obvious, often goes unnoticed: time is a limited resource.
“Even the unthinkable can happen from one day to the next”
“This new situation made me realize that if I had dreams to fulfill it should be now, because if the pandemic has taught us anything it is that even the unthinkable can happen from one day to the next and break with everything planned.
“One of my dreams had always been to get an MBA in the USA so that I could, in the long-term, develop my own business. A business that has a social impact. I took a bold step and left my company, my apartment and my city and made a 360 degree turn in my life. Here I am, applying for that MBA that helps me get one step closer to what I really want to do in life. The pandemic was clearly a problem, but I decided to take it as an opportunity.”