Meet MSM's staff members: Introducing ms. Liliana Bedoya Vargas
At MSM we are proud of the more than 40 staff members who are committed and eager to fulfill our mission in offering management and entrepreneurship education, advice and research to individuals and organizations from all over the world. To become more acquainted with our staff members and to show you how it feels for them working at MSM we will each month highlight one of our staff members. This month the spotlight will be on Ms. Liliana Bedoya Vargas.
Let me introduce myself…
My name is Liliana Bedoya Vargas and I’m working as a Senior Officer Global Education Programs and Quality Enhancement at MSM. I have earned my Bachelor in Finance and International Relations from Universidad Externado de Colombia in Bogota and I gained a research degree (M.Phil.) in Social Anthropology with emphasis in Human Ecology from the University of Bergen in Norway. For this degree I spent a semester doing fieldwork in the Colombian city of Leticia on the banks of the Amazonas River and wrote a thesis about the political interactions in the management of a multi-ethnic protected area. Before joining MSM I worked in various different environments, regions and especially with a very varied group of people; indigenous groups, researchers from universities and governmental offices, cooperation agencies, local and national authorities, small scale farmers, students, etc.
Let me take you on a little trip through my career….
My career started even before I finished my bachelor’s degree. I stopped one semester to work with an NGO created by students to support the decentralization process that started in my country after the constitution was changed in 1991. Small municipalities and indigenous protected areas needed support and information about the new procedures and possibilities to manage their own territories and the idea was that students in their last years of bachelor studies could help. This experience provided me with insight about how to connect the right people, in this case the local authorities, the national government and cooperation agencies, and about supporting projects successfully from the proposal phase until the reporting phase. This whole experience made me belief even more in the importance of social responsibility as a component of education.
After my first work experience I started to work at the Bogota Mayors office, where I was part of a very inspirational project in which the local associations from the neighbourhoods could propose projects according to their own necessities and perspective to improve the city. After that and before I started my Master I travelled to India to work with a network of NGO’s in the Tamil Nadu. After finishing my M.Phil., I worked for the National Ministry of Planning in the area of science and technology in agriculture and then moved to work with an NGO involved in innovation and technology in sustainable rural development. Once more my role was to connect people’s work and share the results with cooperation agencies. The success of this program made it possible to replicate some of the activities in other Andean Countries like Peru and Ecuador.
To be part of a whole that goes forward based on a joint effort is what makes me feel at home…
Looking back at my work experiences it shows that, no matter the subject, the main thing is being able to put people’s efforts together and share the outcome with others to get the best results. This is also the main focus in my job at MSM, we connect the efforts and results of all our colleagues, turn it into one collective report and hand it over to our accreditation agencies. We also maintain the communication with the accreditors and keep records of the changes in the international education framework to help guiding the institution accordingly. This to ensure we can offer accredited programs following high standards of international quality and also to facilitate internal decisions with the aim to improve in the areas where needed. To be part of a whole that goes forward based on a joint effort with the aim to offer the best for students from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds, is what makes me feel at home. I lived, studied and worked in many different regions with extreme particularities. But the thing that I like best about Maastricht and MSM is the international environment and its diversity.
What I mostly do in my spare time..
I practice yoga for many years now and I wish I would have more time for it. I like how it helps me to keep things in perspective and to concentrate about what is happening now.
Furthermore, I like to spend time with my daughter and family. For me having fun and laughs is very important as it gives me positive energy that I can put back into my daily work activities.