When I was accepted to the M²GATE Program, I was extremely happy. I was sure that it would be a life-changing experience. Six years ago, after I graduated high school, I had no idea what careers appealed to me. I enrolled in a variety of courses across departments. I learned about physics, general relativity and quantum, mathematics and logic, algebra and statistics, French and philosophy, coding and programming, and much more. Besides this I enrolled in several online courses (MOOCs) on journalism and storytelling, diplomacy and human rights protection, history, and others. These courses taught me a lot about the world and that it is so far from black-and-white. But the most valuable things I learned were about myself. I won’t leave you in suspense: I ended up concluding that no one class changed my life.
My undergraduate schooling has taught me that I love to learn. My eagerness to gain new skills and knowledge is insatiable. Because of this, deciding on a career has never been a straightforward process. But the self-knowledge I have gained over the last five or six years makes it clear to me that business and entrepreneurship is the right choice for me. The M²GATE program was a trigger that activated my inner business skills. It gave purpose to me and my skills. I learned that I have some skills that I didn’t even realize I had, as I had never used them before. The program taught me how to concentrate and put all my energy into creating a venture. Additionally, I learned how to think about solutions from multiple perspectives and that each story has more than two sides.
The M²GATE program has helped me understand the world and my place in it. It has enhanced my ability to work independently and within a team. It not only blends abstract theory to real world application but also makes you employ rigorous thinking for a better understanding of the problem to ensure better solutions.
Socially speaking, I was glad to make new friends from both Morocco and USA: Mounia, Kamal, and Laila, who are engineering students; Corey, who studies international relations and loves soccer; and last but not least Sam, who is driving some great environmental projects with his sister. All of us came from different cultural and educational backgrounds. This diversity and multiculturalism was crucial for us as a team, the Cross Atlantic Green Coalition (CAGC), to contribute multiple and diverse ideas for solving our chosen social issue ― enhancing the effective use of water and reducing its waste.
The M²GATE Program was so challenging for all of us, particularly in terms of scheduling. We are all full-time students and we collaborated virtually across time differences. We were a little bit afraid we would not make it to the end. But we did.
After the completion of the program, we decided to go forward and create a true startup that will pitch the venture. Our venture aims to promote one of the most important sustainable development goals, which is water. We decided to take our project to the International Youth Federation Morocco – an interesting organization working in this field – to gain more support and advertising. Fortunately, our project was selected to be represented at their national conference. (See the photo below.)
Our M²GATE adventure does not stop here, however. Next, we are taking our project to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition, another exciting opportunity.
M²GATE has proven to be a life-changing experience for me. And still it continues.
Mohcin Bounadar of Morocco, with his team the Cross-Atlantic Green Coalition, recently completed the first cohort of the M²GATE program.
The Stevens Initiative is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.