And he did.
Today I went to the first of Darden Leadership Speaker Series and heard Ralph de la Vega talk. About things ranging from the story of a 10 year old who had to leave behind his parents in Cuba to come to the US, to iPhone apps and how the Apple - AT&T collaboration happened. It was enthralling. He told us about his meeting with Steve Jobs during the pre launch days of the iPhone and how he couldn't even talk about the design of the phone to his boss. Then there was his take on the ubiquity of the wireless network and how its making ways for the cellular company to collaborate with Beer manufacturers. I did my Masters Thesis on Sensor Networks (although the amount of work I put in it could be debated!) so it was quite exciting to listen to him talk about it briefly.
Woven in between all this was his personal story of making it big in the land of opportunities. Of struggles coping with language, culture and food. Of his love for Miami and not so much for Chicago. He was a really good story teller - as our Management Communications professor would say. It helped though, that he had one heck of a story. He ended with a piece of advice which I have often heard. But this time around, it felt a lot more powerful. Maybe it was him. Or maybe its the energy you feel when you are at Darden!
He said never to let anyone place limitations on what we can do. Somebody had dissuaded him from being an engineer. And he was on his way to becoming a mechanic instead. His grandmother, however, believed otherwise.
It's a wonderful place. Darden. All that they said about the intensity, energy, people, professors has been true. And beyond.