Thanks Dad by zdr9nek


									                                     A GOOD CONECTION
                                        Juliana Hincapie

       “Management Engineering? Are you sure you want to take a class about Kafka?” were

the questions Professor González asked me when I met him. It was January 27th of 2005, my last

year in college. I was a dreamer at that particular moment, an idealist who thought that a

person’s knowledge was the only key to success. I just did not believe in the “It-isn’t-what-you-

know,-it’s-who-you-know” proverb, and the idea of Professor González proving the veracity of

this saying did not even cross my mind.

       One semester before, my husband Juan (my boyfriend at that time) had taken a literature

class with Professor González. He told me about the way this teacher managed the class and all

the things he learned from him. He spoke so highly of him that I got excited and decided to

enroll in the course. The problem was that I, as a management engineering student, needed

Professor González’s consent to register for it. This is why I ended up in his classroom that day.

       “Why do you want to take a literature class?” he asked me.

       “Well, because literature is one of my true passions in life,” I calmly replied.

       “Ok, Juliana. I just want to be sure that you will take this seriously. You see, this is an

exigent class, and I have high expectations for ALL of my students.”

       “Yes, sir, I know, and I also know that it isn’t going to be easy for me. As I told you

before, I have a lot on my plate right now, but you can be sure that I’m one hundred percent

committed to the class.”

       “Very well then, Juliana. Remember that we will meet only four times during the

semester; the dates are in here,” he said handing me the class information papers and the signed

consent forms.

       Finally, he told me, “And… I do remember Juan--engineer too…one of the best students

I had last semester. I trust you’ll be one of them as well.”

       It was crazy! During that semester I had to work-full time on my internship, and I had to

study like a maniac, not just for Professor González’s class but for an online course and my

thesis. I can say now that it was worth the effort. When I turned in the first essay to Professor

González, he was so impressed with my work that he even made me an example to the class.

       I felt really proud of myself when he said, “All of you should learn from her. Did you

know that she’s not a Humanities student? She’s an engineering student, and she did a better job

than the rest of you!”

       For the remainder of the semester, I continued working hard for his class and, somehow, I

managed to do well in everything else. I finished writing my thesis, got an A on the online class,

completed the internship successfully, and got a 4.8 out of 5.0 grade on the literature course. I

also built a strong student-teacher relationship with Professor González, which was the most

valuable thing I achieved at the time.

       During the last meeting, he told me, “I hope I see you around, Juliana. It was very nice to

have you in my class. Ah! And don’t lose your passion for literature!”

       We continued talking now and then, and the next semester I finished all my college

courses. The first week of December, the Management Engineering Committee held a meeting

for the students who were about to graduate. Among the themes discussed were the graduation

details and the basic steps that we needed to take in order to find a job in a very competitive field

such as ours. The committee members told us that one of the most important factors in this

process was to know people and to establish good relationships or connections. When I heard

that, I started panicking. I found myself alone and lost because I always thought that knowledge

and high grades were the tools that give people an advantage. I was very worried, and I had no

idea of what to do or where to start because I simply did not know anybody in the administration


         On the afternoon of December 14th, nearly a month before my graduation ceremony, I

received a call from Professor González.

         “Juliana,” he said, “I have a friend who is one of the owners of White House Meat

Products. He told me yesterday that he’s looking for a management engineer to be in charge of

the company’s Human Resources Department.             I immediately thought of you.       Are you


         “Yes, of course! Thank you, Professor González!” I instantly replied.

         I was in shock! I never thought that my literature teacher was going to be that “person in

the field” and that, thanks to him, I was going to be one of the first ones in my class to secure a

great position. A couple of weeks after the call, I interviewed for the job and, due to the

Professor González’s high recommendations, I was the lucky candidate to be chosen.

         This was the first but not the last time Professor González and other people had helped

me endure difficult moments and find solutions to my problems. Thanks to this experience and

others later on, I have realized that a brain full of knowledge alone with no connections to the

outside world will not take a person very far. I have also learned the importance of meeting new

people every day as well as the value of establishing and maintaining good relationships with

others in our lives.


To top