9-Year-Old Boy Excels at Core Competencies

Katy Montgomery

Katy currently serves as the Global Director of the Career Development Centre at INSEAD where she manages career services professionals across three campuses: Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau, and Singapore. Katy previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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The above photo has gone viral. It has been shared over 8,000 times and has been on local, national, and international media. The picture is of Daniel Cabrera, a nine-year-old homeless Filipino boy, doing his homework on a street corner under the dim light of a McDonald’s sign. The photographer simply captioned the picture, “I got inspired by this kid.” As the new Academic Year begins at Carey, this picture certainly inspires me, but it also reminds me of the 9 CDO Competencies: adaptability, communication, creativity, emotional intelligence, ethics, leadership, professionalism, resilience, and self-understanding.

Here is a young boy exhibiting the competencies that we try to instill in graduate business students.

Adaptability: He has no access to light so he is flexible and finds a way to still complete his homework assignments late into the night.

Creativity: He considers alternative ideas to develop optimal solutions. He is homeless so he finds alternative “desk” and “lamp.”

Resilience: He has clearly adopted coping skills to thrive under pressure. Despite his home burning down five years ago, losing his father in 2013, and having a mom who makes only $1.77 a day, Daniel still stays focused on his studies under extreme stress.

Self-Understanding: Daniel wants to be a policeman and knows that requires an education. He has developed a plan to reach his goal and sticks with it.

Are you ready to be the type of student Daniel is?

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