STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Is the Pandemic Really An Obstacle? - Victoria Buendía
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by Victoria Buendía
Minister of Trade, Saudi Arabia,
2020 Model G20

Hello! I’m Victoria, and I am from Spain, but I am currently living in Mexico. As a Bachelor in Global Business student at the ITESM, I am constantly looking for opportunities to grow as a student, as a leader, and future valuable graduate of the world, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, which is going to determine not only our short-term future but tendencies, society’s long-term future and the way we see the world. Knovva Academy and this special Summit have brought me the opportunity to not only be an international leader but an analyst and strategist that can seek opportunities for national growth and global collaboration during this present crisis and most importantly, the post-pandemic reality, which no other event nor academy would have given me. 

My life, as everyone else’s has totally transformed since the beginning of the year. I stay in my home, I take online classes, I graduated from high school and I started my career at the best university in my country. My routines, necessities, rituals, and schoolwork have changed in a way I did not expect to happen, now I eat lunch and participate in class at the same time, I put makeup on to be in my own home, and my planner has become my best friend, as the home office has led me to forget everything. This has brought new fears, and worries, but also the most important thing: opportunities. 

In a world that is facing a new global challenge full of fear and desperation, this specific summit has given me the chance to grow in unexpected ways. I had the chance to face real-world challenges and new real obstacles due to the pandemic, a unique global problem with the need for unique solutions. Of course, this Summit has been held through digital platforms and, with that, every delegate has faced new challenges, such as working with people of other countries at a very different time than yours, communication problems, but also each delegate has been able to meet people with unique stories, experiences, and knowledge. 

As weird as it may sound, the pandemic has given me several unique options to grow and experience new things that I am sure I would not have had the chance to do if my life was “normal” during this year. Being in my own home has led me to reflect more on myself, my goals, priorities, and my future. I learned that the pandemic has not been a “jail” as other people may think but a chance to breathe, go away from reality, and really focus on your inner self. Without this time, I would not have discovered this incredible opportunity, because I would not have been confident about my skills and what I really wanted to do in the future. Also, I would have faced my fear of speaking in public or with strangers, nor would I be participating in the coordination and organization of several congresses and projects, as I am now. 

One thought one of my professors said to me several months ago was: “You can’t control what happens in the world, but you can control what you are going to think of it and how you will react and take action about it”. This thought is what has motivated me to change, to really improve myself and help my community. Just take this into consideration: the world is changing, constantly, so you also have to change in order to make an impact on it, and Knovva academy has given me the opportunity to do so, to really take the crisis to describe new tendencies, to improve the way a nation works and to create opportunities where they seem impossible to do. 

So, if anyone is sure that this is “jail” or limited to your life, really think “What opportunities can this situation give me?” or “What can I do now that I couldn’t in my normal life?” The world can challenge you and change you, but you also can challenge and change the world itself.

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