Some people choose to study business for the high salaries after graduation. Others, like Colombian Macquarie graduate Juan Camilo Moreno, use their business knowledge and skills to make a positive difference in their community.
As the founder and leader of paso.trote.galope (‘walk.trot.gallop’), Juan has created a not-for-profit organisation that provides horse coaching and therapies to some of Colombia’s most disadvantaged children.
“These children are from backgrounds of poverty and high social risk,” Juan says. “Through horses we teach children confidence, leadership, team work and other values necessary for a better society.”
Juan is also involved in two commercial enterprises, including eco-development solutions company Ecodesarrollo Soluciones that uses many of the same technologies found in Macquarie University’s sustainable library building.
“Our technology collects and treats rain water for use in gardens, toilets and washing machines, much like the construction concept used at the Macquarie library,” he notes. “We also treat and clean the water that was used and wasted, and once it’s treated it goes back into the river 98% clean and treated.”
Completing a Master of Commerce at Macquarie in 2012, Juan says studying in Australia was the key becoming a successful social entrepreneur.
“An international degree seems to be the key to openings door at multinational corporations,” he notes. “In my case, my international experience and degree gave me the key to unlock my dreams and passions.”
He says that beyond the traditional business knowledge he learned in his degree, it was the cultural intelligence he developed at Macquarie that has bought him the most benefits.
“Having professors from different backgrounds and being exposed to unlimited nationalities was invaluable,” Juan says. “This cultural intelligence taught me to listen and gave me the leadership skills necessary to keep my projects and my staff motivated.”
“Besides being the best modern university in Australia, Macquarie also follows an educational model that makes the learning process easier, and pushes students to develop the best skills,” he adds.
“Macquarie connects people with other cultures and backgrounds, and promotes teamwork and visionary thinking. This approach facilitates the creativity and the development of skills needed to tolerate and face challenges.”
From 2014, the Macquarie Graduate School of Management will be offering Australia’s first masters degree in social entrepreneurship. It is designed for individuals who are passionate about social justice, creating social impact and assuring environmental sustainability while making a profit.