Tech Club INCAE, strengthening the link with technology

29 2022 September
Institutional comunication

By Rosalina Pinera

In a world immersed in technology and its inescapable influence on daily life, we have accepted the challenge of keeping up with digital advances. However, not everyone learns at the same speed or with the same ease. There are generations marked by the digital age and there are those who require support. 

At INCAE, a group of students who are passionate about technology have decided to help bridge the gap. They are the INCAE Tech Club, and to learn more about their mission in Incaist lands, we spoke with their Board of Directors made up of Valeria Ochoa (president), Paola Villalobos, Adrián Coronado, Andrés Felipe Cabrera, and Ilche ​​Park.

How long has the Tech Club INCAE been working and how does this Board of Directors give continuity to the work done?

Adrian Coronado (AC): Tech Club adds three formal generations of directives and has touched more than six master's degrees. It was born because new technologies present business opportunities and the Club wants to share knowledge with the Inca community, both to face these professional challenges, as well as work and personal ones. We want to work on it because we are not only economic agents; we want to develop digital skills in Incaists that prepare them to understand the possibilities of emerging technologies and those that are already there in order to successfully lead ventures and leadership positions.

What is your academic or professional background and why do you consider that technology should be present in the training of the Incaists?

Valeria Ochoa (VO): In my case, I have professional experience in the areas of Logistics and Transportation, and Supply Chain, and I have always been related to business, but I am moved by curiosity, to learn more, and that is why I am here. Despite not having a background in technology or 'heavy' engineering, I have been close to technology. 

Paola Villalobos (PV): I studied Tourism Business Administration and I didn't use more than a good Excel. But I consider it vital to know about data management and its interpretation, because you are no longer so competitive if you do not know about these issues. Technology has transformed all areas of life, has solved specific problems and is a pillar of economic, social and cultural development. 

I am in the Club because of my passion for technology. I want to share activities for INCAE students and staff to learn about these tools. It is also true that, by doing so, we learn by teaching and grow as professionals.

Andres Felipe Cabrera (AC): We are students of the Master in Analytics, Innovation and Technology (MAIT), and the work of the INCAE Tech Club is enriched by the multidisciplinary profiles of its members, who contribute with their experience, skills and personal knowledge. We want to strengthen the link between INCAE and technology. We need to go hand in hand with trends. The world is going digital and companies need to make decisions based on data. We cannot exempt a business decision from technology or tools that allow data analysis. 

In my case, my whole life has been related to technology. I am a telecommunications engineer, I worked for a telephone company and now I am studying MAIT. My interest in belonging to the Tech Club is to make our community see that technology is for everyone. Many will say: “I can't! It gets out of hand”, but it's not like that. 

HUNGRY: I have lived hand in hand with technology, looking for ways to make it available to others. In 2018 I created a course to teach older adults how to connect with their family from their smartphones. Since my university days, right in the pandemic, I have made courses and programs that teach digital tools accessible. I also participated in digital transformation consultancies for medium and large companies where we enabled competencies and cultural transformations. I am moved by “making available” technology and promoting it for our personal or business benefit. I always look for technologies to share them; That's why I joined Tech.

Ilche ​​Park (IP): My background has always been data. I worked for nearly three years at Pacíficos Seguros, in Peru, doing automation, extraction, transformation and data loading; creating models for business intelligence projects. I want to transfer my technical knowledge to the Inca community.

As a result of the confinement caused by the pandemic, our activities underwent important changes and technology played a relevant role. Adaptation and adoption processes were accelerated, although not equitably. What should we do to not be left behind in Latin America? 

HUNGRY: I would say lose your fear of technology. Being reluctant to sudden changes is not so much of Latin America, but of the human being. We must find the way, the methodology that makes it less abrupt for people, and thus give technology the opportunity.

Reporter: I think you have to have the attitude to learn, recognizing that at first you can be slow and that there will be concepts and forms that you don't handle well. Being kind to yourself is part of learning.

OV: Beyond the personal level, a lot has to do with the culture of innovation, digitization and the progress that companies adopt. Latin America is part of that digital transformation that accelerated in the pandemic; however, it is also true that we are still lagging behind. For this reason, at Tech we are preparing to promote transformation in the companies where we are going to work or in our own.

In just three weeks, Tech Club has focused on giving continuity to existing projects and setting new goals. Which are?

HUNGRY: During the selection process for the Club's Board of Directors, I asked Max de León, the former president, what he would have wanted to do. He told me that he was interested in positioning the Club as that entity where concerns such as "I don't know Excel, but Tech will help me" fall. We want to do that, and multiply our impact by collaborating with other clubs that seem unrelated, like the Diversity Club. 

The idea is to give continuity to projects, such as the use of INCAE's technological resources, which are underutilized. We also want to make known the "minimum security" that a person must have when using technologies: it can really harm the company and the individual not to have the minimum care and knowledge in security of the software or devices they use. 

Reporter: We are planning a Power BI bootcamp for INCAE's administrative body with two approaches: basic and intermediate. We launch the invitation to students who want to participate and be tutors. It will be two weeks of pure training; We will be available to direct them. It will be perfect if students and new members of the club participate. It will be the task that we will inherit. 

What lessons does an Incaist who is part of INCAE Clubs take away?

Reporter: It's a lot of things! Among them is the development of leadership skills, acting under pressure –because we have little time– and that leads us to balance with personal and social activities, a value that INCAE instills in you. 

IP: We also get out of our comfort zone. A club gives us critical exposure. In addition, we must develop a strategic plan and develop our analytical thinking: how to address this problem with solutions from the background that each one has? What is different and what can we integrate?

OV: I agree. By participating in a club we get out of the routine to touch on more strategic topics, and we also have more exposure to our teachers. In fact, all INCAE clubs have an assigned teacher who sponsors them, and in our case, our sponsor is Dr. Carla Fernández. 

HUNGRY: In addition to the theme of the exhibition and the responsibility that belongs to a Board of Directors of a prestigious club, such as Tech, we are here to help. Our current and future challenges? Find the balance between study and extracurricular activities.