Professions At Stake


Felipe Obando, learning on his own about biochemistry and completing some assignments that his UPB Medicine teachers provided him during the lockdown, March 12, 2020.

Susana Obando, Copy Editor

While I cooled down my nerves, my mind started to question how my future as a dentist would be like. I’ve just had the virtual admission interview with deans and teachers of CES University here in Medellin. After several minutes, I came to the frightening conclusion that being successful in the future will be harder than what was expected.

The world is constantly changing, dragging society along with these variations through time. Even though no one knows what will happen in the future, people can surely start preparing for it. During the pandemic, COVID-19, the economy will crash in some places around the globe because of quarantine lockdown. Starting to think on plausible alternatives to thrive no matter the circumstance is essential, in this case, what is more important to people are their jobs.

According to Ana Maria Pérez, owner and administrator of Mr. Salad restaurant, “I have to stay home and shut down the business, but I am still running all the expenses of the restaurant, such as employees, administration, and lease.” As depicted by the quote, even though this food place is not generating any income, they still have to pay for utilities, rent, etc which makes it even harder to sustain. Also, Perez stated that they had the chance to reopen and offer an ordering line for customers at home. Still, their sales right now are just 10% of what they sold before the quarantine. 

I am only 18 years old, and I do not need to provide for my family yet. I have a long way ahead of me before that happens. However, thinking about how to be successful and practical in order to never be unemployed or unable to work is inevitable due to the situation many people are struggling with right now. Ambition and perseverance get the best of me. The reality of how bad things are currently for some enterprises is scary. I almost feel as if it was my job along with the rest of Gen Z (individuals born during 1995-2012), who are the next generation of bosses and entrepreneurs, to prevent the economy from dropping with sustainable jobs.

According to Camilo Peña, a Business Administration student at EAFIT, “My classes have been seriously affected because the homeschooling platform doesn’t work as effectively.” This statement demonstrates that education is also being affected. The education sector was taken by surprise and had to adapt very quickly to the online modality, leaving many gaps.  Education is key for progress; it’s the area in charge of forming capable humans to deal with the real world. According to Peña, just when he was going to finish high school and ready to start college, he was clear that his profession would be useful in the future. He chose to study business administration because it has many applications, different areas to specialize in, broad access to any market, and he would be able to keep working no matter what the circumstances are.

The current education leaves parents, teachers, and others with the concern of how proficient students really are. Let me tell everyone that we are the leaders to come, the ones who will rule the world. The generation that has learned from past mistakes and is ready to succeed. Thinking ahead is just the first step for us to prosper and flourish in life. 

It is never too late to change, adapting to the situations is also part of being an outstanding executive. Alternatives such as virtual platforms, are and will continue to be one of the most important main streams of communication. “Not for a full-time job but it would be very interesting to be able to learn and apply to my current business, digital marketing. Specifically for moments like this to expand the market and reach more consumers through social media,” Perez said. 

Growing up surrounded by technology and luxury, as I did, taught me that it can also be dangerous and self-consuming, it is a double-edged sword. As a student, I have a choice to make. I could be ignorant and cheat during my tests by looking at the answers online or copying from classmates, or I could learn from the vast amount of tutorials about infinite subjects and the work my teachers provide me. In regards to the restaurant, Pérez has the choice to lay back and fo nothing or think about new alternatives in the business. She could start selling ebooks full of recipes, new interesting menu options, or products that customers can cook at home. Getting creative is key, not using the internet is already costing the place a lot of clients. Making the correct decision, creating consciousness among the community, and helping others is what builds a healthier more sustainable society. 

“I see myself in the future with my own company, of course after we are going through right now, I have to take into account that whatever I specialize in, can also be supported with work that can be done from home. A self-sustainable enterprise,” Peña said.