UC Chile student shares his positive experience with Harvard's Aspire Leaders Program
Felipe Gálvez was one of the 110 finalists in the 2021 edition of the Aspire Leaders Program, which offers courses and classes to prepare future university leaders. Read his testimony.
Felipe Gálvez (22) cannot hide his pride in being among the 4.000 students from 115 different countries who participated in the Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program 2021 (now called the Aspire Leaders Program), which Harvard University promotes.
This program seeks to transform the lives of first-generation college students through a leadership development program.
Aspire Leaders Program –held online between April and December 2021– offers tools such as specialization courses, classes taught by senior Harvard professors and an extensive network of contacts.
"Learning directly from Harvard University professors is a dream come true," says Gálvez, a fifth-year UC Chile Industrial Engineering student (with a Mining Engineering degree). He adds that "the learning process is motivating. I remember coming in and out with a smile at every meeting".
One of the 110 finalists
According to a blog post –Felipe Gálvez wrote in Harvard's ReVista blog– he became one of the 110 finalists of the Aspire Leaders Program, the highest possible recognition.
To become a finalist, he had to go through several stages, such as taking a course on the HarvardX platform on technological entrepreneurship, obtaining good results in a test on logical thinking and mathematical reasoning, completing a resume and obtaining a letter of recommendation from a professor, among other requirements.
As a finalist, he participated in Harvard Business School case study review sessions with leading professors such as Karim Lakhani, Tarun Khanna (both founders of the Aspire Institute) and Kristin Fabbe.
Having been selected in this instance as a UC Chile student was "what I remember most fondly of this whole experience. It is something that motivates me to this day to give my all at every opportunity".
–How do you think being part of the Aspire Leaders Program has impacted your educational background as a UC Chile student?
"I am certain that this experience has made me a much more prepared leader to face the challenges of our environment. In addition, my specialization in technological innovation management and business administration prepared me enormously for two areas in which I am interested in working."
"Having shared with outstanding leaders from different countries allowed me to develop multicultural leadership, something fundamental in the interconnected world in which we live. The Aspire Leaders Program prepares you to be an empathetic person, an inspiring leader and a better professional."
–What do you think is essential for other UC Chile students applying and participating in these international initiatives?
"I think it is a wonderful opportunity to form ourselves as leaders with a broad vision of the world, where we meet people from other backgrounds, contexts and life experiences. Taking courses at Harvard University, learning from their professors and learning other examples of leadership is a unique experience that motivates you to take advantage of every opportunity to become the best version of yourself."
For Maribel Florez, Director of Global Learning of the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs (VRAI in Spanish), the importance of UC Chile students participating in this activity is "not to stop dreaming big. UC Chile's education provides powerful tools to develop in any context. Therefore, when someone applies to these instances, they testify to everything they have learned and grown in UC Chile and allow themselves to make the most of their training".
The Aspire Leaders Program began in 2017 with students from 35 countries in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. For the 2022 edition –whose applications have already closed– more than 7,500 applications were received from 104 countries.
To know the application dates for the year 2023, check the program's official information.