Lifelong Lessons

As we all know, this is the time when back-to-school preparations are in full swing. I recently took my daughter, Andrea, to the University of Michigan, where she is getting ready to enter her senior year.  On the trip back to Chicago, I started to think about the impact education has had on my life.  In particular, I thought back to a teacher who, whether she knew it or not, helped instill me with lifelong lessons that guide me to this day.
I attended Blessed Agnes Grammar School in Little Village (now known as St. Agnes) and when I got to 6th grade, I decided to take French class.  I was lucky enough to have Miss Adele as my teacher.   She was slender with short, curly dark hair with a poised and an elegant walk and an easy, approachable sophistication.  I don't know if she was French or not, but the way she presented France to us made me fall in love with the culture.  She taught us French songs, had us sample French foods and spun such beautiful tales about the French culture that I couldn't wait to experience that lifestyle for myself one day.  Miss Adele's teachings inspired me to continue my French studies throughout high school and upon graduation, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to Paris as part of a student program (since then, I have been to Paris several times and it remains one of my favorite cities).
Though I didn't realize it at the time, Miss Adele taught me about the importance of expanding my horizons.  I already understood the magnitude of being Mexicana en Mexico and while in Chicago I was American.  I have always felt that understanding that difference between cultures has been a boon to my networking abilities.  Being exposed to French culture further showed me the value to be gained in learning about traditions and customs that differed from my own.  That knowledge has been a tremendous asset to me in my career, particularly as I have worked within international capacities.  Even understanding the intricacies of what it is to be woman in another country - especially when doing business - can be a significant lesson.  
I count Miss Adele as one of my mentors because she helped me to visualize going beyond my own borders.  I know it's a cliché to say it, but remember, clichés exist for a reason: you have to think outside the box if you want to be successful in business.  Put that theory into practice by exploring different ideas and best practices, both at home and in the office.  After all, you never know where that next big aha! moment might come from.  I never thought lessons I learned long ago in a classroom in Little Village would stay with me to this day.  
Merci, Miss Adele.
Pulido Sanchez Communications, LLC.
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