Student Life Testimonials

Bangkok to Mexico: Stamford Student Talks of Experiences at WOBI Leadership Summit

Jason Ward
Shared by Jason Ward

On the 25th and 26th of March, WOBI – World of Business Ideas, held the “WOBI On Leadership Mexico 2015”. The event gathered inspirational leaders from across the globe to talk about a variety of insightful and wide-ranging topics related to Leadership. Stamford International University (Thailand) is part of the Laureate Network, and with its focus on student outcomes and providing experience and networking possibilities for its students, the WOBI event was an ideal venue to send a student.


In the weeks prior to the event, Stamford held a competition to select a student representative who would be flown to Mexico to attend the summit in person. The winner was Stalin Tawanda Mau-Mau, an Airline Business Management student at the Bangkok campus. 
Stalin said that the competition was great but harder than he had first anticipated. “We had to write an essay on leadership, which was quite challenging, and then go through an interview. The interview was intense as there was no preparation, you just went in and they started asking questions. I later found out that it was part of the selection criteria from Laureate and the organizers, to see if the candidate can think on their feet.”

Although Stalin was overjoyed to have won, he admitted that it was quite a responsibility. “I didn’t go purely for my own benefit but to be the voice, the eyes and the ears of Stamford International University. I went alone but I stood with thousands of other students, it was a bit daunting,” he said, before adding: “It was a great opportunity though, as I knew I would get to network with other Laureate students and industry leaders, including the keynote speakers.”

It took Stalin almost 24 hours to travel from Bangkok to Mexico City. “From the air you got a feel of the massive sprawl of this city beneath, which I later discovered was home to just over 20 Million inhabitants. Soon afterwards, as we drove through Mexico City, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the density and complexity of it. The city is an impressive urban mass, a cosmopolitan metropolis, vibrant and colorful, with an electric energy, and an incredible aura that’s so hard to describe.” Stalin didn’t have much time to sightsee however. “We were in Mexico City for a total of four days and the event itself was spread out into two jam packed days.”

The WOBI event focused on leadership and the key speakers were industry leaders and experts. Stalin was impressed by the calibre of talent. “We were graced by the presence of an elite group of experts and high profile leaders in industry from around the globe, with a phenomenal line up of keynote speakers.
The ones that caught my attention were Captain Richard Phillips, who discussed ‘Leading through Adversity’ and Dr. Travis Bradberry who talked about ‘Emotional Intelligence’ and the qualities that differentiate great leaders.” Other elite experts who attended the event included Jen Lim, Estanislao Bachrach, Tal Ben-Shahar, Ernesto Weissman, John Mattone, and Scott Eblin.The speeches and presentations lived up to the quality Stalin was hoping for. “The caliber of the talent was unbelievable, they all brought different perspectives and each shared their unique stories of how they managed to navigate through the all too often rough seas of leadership. The presentations were engaging, humorous and affirming, with forthrightness and candor.”

When asked what he had taken away from the event and the experience, Stalin said, “I learnt that leaders are vessels of change, and today’s dynamic business world demands that we, as leaders, need to be highly adaptable and have the courage to inspire radical transformation in ourselves and in others. I came to understand the actionable ideas a leader needs, on how to manage their own behavior and behavior in others.” On a more personal level he added, “I managed to sharpen my soft skills which complement those hard skills I have been acquiring over the course of my studies, which will all help me to enhance my relationships and future job performance.”


Stamford International University Thailand and the Laureate Network aim to provide knowledge and tangible outcomes for its students. Trips like this provide and rewarding learning experiences, not just for Stalin, but for all who followed him and his journey.

His time at WOBI has provided inspiration for future applicants and competition for attending future events is always increasing. Stalin concludes:  “Overall it was an insightful, unparalleled learning experience from some of the most brilliant minds in business and such a spectacular opportunity to meet and network with other students from the laureate network.” Stamford would like to offer its congratulations to Stalin Mau-Mau and looks forward to hearing from more of its students as they explore future international opportunities.

About the Author

Jason Ward

Jason Ward

Jason started working as a journalist for a print magazine in 1990 and since then has written for a variety of outlets and publications, both in print and online. His work has appeared in magazines from London to Hong Kong, Bangkok to New Zealand. He also writes content, scripts for TV channels such as MTV, and speeches.

In addition to the above, he has published shorter work - science fiction and travel writing – under the name Jason R Ward. He is the sole writer of and