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Two years ago I was in Colombia and had lunch with 4 late twenties MIT MBA students interning in Medellin. One was ex-Google, one was a consultant at the Big 4.

They'd been there for a week, and told me they hadn't seen any of the city. After work they'd go to the gym or drive their rented car to a restaurant recommended by colleagues. Taxis were a max $3 if you live anywhere in the core, which they did.

On a walk to a restaurant famous for mondongo, we had to cross a 4 lane street. It was 9pm with no traffic and after waiting awhile I noticed the crossing signal didn't go off. I looked both ways with no car in sight and started walking, looking back expecting them to follow. They all stood there awkwardly, with no cars and no other pedestrians, for another 30 seconds, waiting for the walk signal to turn on, while I watched them from the other side. The signal never changed.

They were scared of the city. Anyone who has been to Medellin in the past few years knows there is little to fear.

Not all MBA's are like this, but this group just didn't get it. I realize this is more about travel fears than business smarts, but there is something to be said for people that can adapt and embrace new environments.




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