JOURNEYS: REINVENTING MYSELF

JOURNEYS: AN EMZINGO-U ALUMNI SERIES

This article is part of a series written by Emzingo-U alumni to offer a first hand testimony of their experiences during our university programs.

By Karina Viquez.

Social Entrepreneur and passionate about sustainability, Karina completed the Emzingo Social Impact Trek to New York City during her International MBA at IE Business School. With previous experience in the Automotive and Pharmaceutical industries in Latin America, she is aiming towards a career change to work in the sustainability area after graduation.

Reinventing Myself: A Personal Story.

My childhood has marked my life both personally and professionally. A time where nature and animals were part of my daily life, thus creating a deep respect and care for the gifts that our planet gives us. Living in a rural area made studying a challenge, I traveled 80 kilometers every day for 11 years to receive a high-quality education, where more than learning a second language and mastering my favorites –mathematics and science– I learned that what it requires more effort is what I enjoy the most and fills me with pride.

Since I was a teenager, I decided that I wanted to enter the business world, where I found a veritable number of possibilities for my professional development. I was presented with the opportunity to give back to my country through University Community Work, where I began my journey towards social impact.

I taught workshops on family economics and entrepreneurship for two years, however, in 2016 I decided to start my own project, Numu Entrepreneurial Workshops. They consist of participatory workshops aimed at populations at social risk, where through practical tools that allow the understanding and immediate application, participants receive the basics of how to manage their personal finances, and then learn to conceptualize and start the development of a business idea.

Currently, the scope of Numu goes through 6 workshops developed in 3 areas of social risk in Costa Rica, to 67 participants (mainly single mothers and high school students between 15-17 years). Although I have had great acceptance and success stories that fill my heart, it has occurred in a disorganized and unstable way, also affecting my own pocket because I do not always obtain the necessary donations for its development.

At the same time, I have always been part of non-profit organizations, helping as a volunteer in tasks of various kinds. My most recent experience was in Lifting Hands, a foundation dedicated to the education of children in a troubled area of ​​San José, Costa Rica. An experience that filled me with energy and love, where I spent surrounded by children who, with the opportunity to educate themselves both technically and recreationally, will see a great difference in their lives.

Later, assessing that I already had quality work experience (which I managed to combine with the development of the Numu workshops) and that I wanted to take a big step in my career, I prepared to move to Madrid and do the International MBA in IE Business School. Definitely, you’re never prepared for such a radical change like this, so I focused on giving the best of myself and making the most of it. The master advanced very fast, with lessons that will mark me for life. After the base period, I participated in the Startup Lab, an incubator-type program where I received the tools to launch my own startup. And finally, the last period of elective courses arrived, which is when I got to know Emzingo’s Social Impact Trek (SIT) program.

Considering the journey taken so far, you can imagine that I wanted to explore into the social field, seen from different perspectives. Usually the MBA does not delve into this area, and it was very rewarding to find the option of this program that consists in going to a big city, in this case New York, to learn and unlearn (because most of us already had some closeness to the theme) through a workshop-type, participatory, practical way, with access to corporations from different industries, NGOs, foundations, startups with social and / or environmental focus, global organizations, among others.

An intense and enriching week where in addition to visiting companies, to receive classes on Design Thinking, to apply what has been learned about a real case, to meet extraordinary people; listening to each of their stories, I was left with the greatest learning, which is that all the stories begin with a brave person who decides to leave a mark on the world and on people, who works with the greatest passion even in the smallest task, because he knows that each step will bring him closer to his goal. It does not matter the industry, the job position, the socioeconomic status or the geographical location; if we have a visionary attitude towards social challenges, we can succeed in our journey to become responsible leaders.

With great enthusiasm I want to share that I just ended my master and I am making a career change, where after dedicating myself in my previous years to the commercial and logistics area, I decided to enter the Sustainability sector. Emzingo allowed me to unite all the pieces and realize what I really want to continue doing as a professional in the business world.

Finally, I firmly believe that people, like companies, must reinvent themselves several times throughout their lives to remain present and valuable, and I thank Emzingo for allowing me to successfully carry out my own reinvention.


Social Entrepreneur and passionate about sustainability, Karina completed the Emzingo Social Impact Trek to New York City during her International MBA at IE Business School. With previous experience in sales and logistics in the Automotive and Pharmaceutical industries in Latin America, she is aiming towards a career change to work in the sustainability area after graduation. This is her story.

About Emzingo-U Treks

Emzingo-U’s Impact Learning Treks are one to two week programs designed to inspire students to discover social entrepreneurship and responsible leadership in a new country.  For more information, contact our team.

About Emzingo-U alumni series

Written by Emzingo-U alumni, this series offers a first hand testimony of our alumni’s experiences during their university programs. The opinions expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not reflect the official view of Emzingo.

#emzingou #programs #travel #journeys #alumniseries

Emzingo is a Certified B-Corporation working with purpose-driven leaders, teams, and organizations in the business and academic sectors, to drive innovation, inspire responsible leadership, and connect business performance to social and environmental impact.

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