On October 24, 2014, King Felipe VI of Spain will honor the Fulbright Program with the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in recognition of the Program’s educational and cultural exchange that has strengthened links and mutual understanding between the world’s citizens. The King, who is the former Prince of Asturias, will present the award at a grand ceremony in Oviedo, Principality of Asturias, in north-west Spain.
In the following article, Fulbright alumna Annie Chor shares her story of meeting and addressing His Majesty the King of Spain about her Fulbright experiences on September 22, 2014.
UPDATE: Tune in today, Friday, October 24 at 12:30 p.m. EDT to watch King Felipe VI of Spain honor the Fulbright Program with the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in recognition of how the Program has strengthened links and mutual understanding between the world’s citizens. More info and links to the livestream here: http://go.usa.gov/fsMV
Standing at the podium, preparing to address King Felipe of Spain, U.S. Department of State officials, IIE representatives, and fellow Fulbright students, I take a moment to pause and reflect on my journey thus far.
Post undergraduate studies, I worked in the financial sector in capital markets for several years. As I furthered my professional development, I continually felt an urgency to seek efficient solutions to meaningful change. I began to realize my passion was in finding innovative solutions that merged business and improved societies around the world. At this time, a Fulbright award helped me take that important leap to change and gave me the confidence and support to work towards my passion.
Through my experience in Madrid, Spain pursuing an MBA at IE Business School, I strengthened my business knowledge and gained skills critical to reaching my future goals of driving positive impact. I am grateful for the opportunity to do this and to deepen my appreciation and understanding of Spain and its diverse regions.
From the outside, Spain elicits the image of tapas, bullfights and siestas. However, it is the nuances of the country that truly leave an imprint. Through direct interactions with Spanish citizens, I realized the varying dynamics of its culture and people. From the food mecca of the northern Basque country, to the blazing fires of Las Fallas in Valencia, down to the Holy processions during Semana Santa in Andalucía – all moments that will stay with me forever.
As an alumna, the Fulbright Program and network continually reminds and inspires me to push towards my desire to seek efficient solutions to solve challenges that plague our society. As a result, I am currently furthering my studies in social impact through the Master of Advanced Management at the Yale School of Management.
A word of advice to perspective Fulbright applicants – opportunities arise when you least expect them to. So don’t be afraid to take that leap – You never know if that path puts you right in front of His Majesty the King of Spain himself.