The temperatures might be quickly cooling off in this corner of Kansas, but my thoughts are still on a recent warmer, sunnier time. In late June, I traveled with Mohit Abraham, our International Sales Manager, to the Dominican Republic to meet with STEM UM, an education dealer, to learn more about how they serve teachers and define success.
International business can be complicated. I'm not bilingual, so this trip was something of a challenge for me. However, my hosts were very gracious and hospitable, which made navigating any challenges and language barriers much easier on me.
Mohit is our expert on all things international, but one thing I took away from our visit is that no matter the differences from country to country, we can be united by common goals.
Two key topics we discussed were robotics and STEM, which are currently hot topics in both the United States and in the Dominican Republic, and for good reason with the many benefits these areas can bring to students. In addition to the education dealer, we met with Claudio Rita Abreu Herrara, the Director at Ministry of Education, and a robotics coach named Carlos.
This group gave great input about how they use our TETRIX® robotics building system in their country, what professional development needs must be met to ensure that their teachers and users are successful, and what their long-term education plans are. Since our meeting in the Dominican this summer, both Carlos and Elias have visited us in Pittsburg, KS to collaborate on robotics and STEM options.
No matter where you go or who you work with, several factors remain the same: work with a trusted partner, establish mutual goals, and develop a plan for success.
In the Dominican Republic, I might have eaten a few things I still can't identify and struggled over a language barrier or two, but the common ground was more than enough to make this a very successful endeavor. I look forward to continued collaboration!