An online meetup with the USA 1994 fellows

06 October 2021

The fourth event in the ”la Caixa” Foundation Fellows Virtual Meetups series took place on Thursday, 21 September. In this case, the fellows invited were those who received a fellowship in 1994 to do a postgraduate course in the USA. 

The meetup brought together 9 fellows who managed to find a gap in their diaries to meet up with people from the cohort again, when many of them hadn't seen each other for 26 years. Some of them took part with their morning coffee in hand, while others were getting close to the end of their working day, since they are spread out across Spain, Canada, the USA, the UK and Switzerland.  

Screenshot of the online meetup. From left to right, top to bottom: Ana Barreira López, Enric Fernández Martínez, Miguel Maravall Rodríguez, Begoña Martínez de Tejada, Nuria Oliver Ramírez, Luis Chacón de la Rosa, Maite Taboada Gómez, Isabel García Tejerina, Sara Nadal-Melisió and Ainhoa Martín, Emilia Jordi and Diana Molina from the ”la Caixa” Foundation Fellowship Programme.From left to right, top to bottom: Ana Barreira López, Enric Fernández Martínez, Miguel Maravall Rodríguez, Begoña Martínez de Tejada, Nuria Oliver Ramírez, Luis Chacón de la Rosa, Maite Taboada Gómez, Isabel García Tejerina, Sara Nadal-Melisió and Ainhoa Martín, Emilia Jordi and Diana Molina from the ”la Caixa” Foundation Fellowship Programme.

Despite the distance and the time that’s past since they last saw each other, all the fellows agreed that the fellowship they received was a watershed moment in their careers. Strangely enough, many of them mentioned that coming home to Spain was trickier than starting their adventures on the other side of the pond. Others said that they never came back, or that they only came back temporarily. 

Over the course of the years, this group has built up experiences and success that go to show that talent knows no borders and that a top-quality education opens doors that you'd never expect. This small group of fellows is made up of experts in fields from health to nuclear physics, from finance to environmental law. Some of them have headed up ministries or strategies for large banks, while others are pioneering figures in designing international strategies to work towards a more sustainable world or EU initiatives on AI. After catching up on their careers over the years, the conversation switched to climate change and alternative energy sources, and the need to keep bringing in new talent into organisations and businesses in order to keep on innovating.

By the end of the meeting the fellows were still eager to keep talking longer, to reconnect with those who couldn’t make it and to strengthen the bonds within the community.

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