Been told*: « Believe in your dreams! »

That wonderful morning; birds were singing in trees, people were sleeping and the sun was rising as usually. I was jogging along lake Washington with the hope to reduce the stress of the long awaiting day! Even it was not a normal day as such, but that’s how I normally I start my day! It was my very first day at Starbucks for my PDE! Through prayers, praying is the first I do even before jogging; one thought kept resonating along in my mind “expect only the best and get it”.

In due course, the man we have been chatting for over two months show up, thanks to the technology! He is unique in his kind; smart and very handsome. In fact, I was staying with two others amazing folks; determined and hard worker young people ever met! Surprised to be greeted in our respective names, me and my flatmate, we get engaged in the conversation like we knew each other for a long time. On a day like that one, you wish that the road to the office should be longer or wish the traffic jam, but I am telling you, it will never happen. For sure, it didn’t for me!

Surprisingly, within a single week, what were my fears becomes my strength; I knew almost what the social responsibility department was doing and the team was amazing, lovely, very supportive and inspiring! The time was unique and transformative. But, did I tell you about my first day at the office Just introductions, cupping, welcome gifts, a delicious lunch, and a drop home to cover the day. Thus, immersion sessions help me to settle in from the first day.

With my interests in sustainable development and improving communities’ well-being; the corporate social responsibility was the nice place; to understand how a big company should invest in the community where they are sourcing most of their products. Got many insights on these aspects; for sustainability, you have to value commodities before your personal interests. The law is very simple: “poor commodity, poor products, and low interests!” The other way around is true and that is the secret. Starbucks partners* at HQ are thoughtful, smart and inspiring; happy that I spent few days with them.  It worth noting that those commodity/ raw materials are the results of a man is effort and fruit of his labor.

In fact, some company or organizations succeed and others failed. With my experience with NGos and thirsty of understanding how big companies operate so that they can succeed in this competitive world, I discovered one other interesting thing. And, I want to share it with you so that you can use it to unleashing your potential. Learn this at Starbucks: “when you value your employees (co-works), you increase ownership in their work, dedication to your firm and commitment in their respective duties. This will lead you to success.” How many of you wonder about your employee’s weekend plan? The team always did, and what are you waiting for? Such simple things are the one that makes difference; it may worth less, but it means all for them.

There some people in this world you should stay with few minutes and change your destiny; transforms you. They inspire you. They believe in and ask you to believe in yourself as well. Summing up his pieces of advice; believe in yourself, read, be selective, don’t rush, make mistakes and choose the right partner for your life. He concluded by saying: “Believe in Your dreams” That is the advice from the man behind Starbucks’ success, Howard Schultz.

I can’t imagine how those six weeks went fast but I can remember exactly lot of things I learned there. From skills development through public speaking to professional development in ethical sourcing, climate change adaptation and mitigation, youth engagement, and sustainable development; to list few.

My favorite and inspirational moment were the official lunch of UpStanders; ordinary people making extraordinary things! This was not only inspiring but one of the best humanitarian acts I have ever seen before. This proved too many of us that we still have the little thing to do in our community that should shape someone else’s future. Just try your best, God will do the rest. When you will look backward and connect the dots, you will be happy. Do you need a link, just let me know!

Did I miss my home? For sure, I did and especially my soul mate after the goodbye tears 13 weeks ago. Now, I am settled into my life, I am missing the moments spent together with Peter, Isaac and Starbucks partners; community services, immersion sessions, weekend trips, potluck and parties, beer after work, baseball game, joke and stories, dinners at your respective places. That was awesome and I am happy for the big family.

Among the best things I learned is that I have to believe in my dreams, know that it will not be like a straight line and that no one else, but for me, will equip me with success. There are the things only you can do. No matter whether there are small; all trees were once seedlings not to say seeds. Moreover, I learned that I have to be impeccable with my words, that I don’t have to take things personally, that I don’t have to assume and mostly that I will have just to do my best, not little not more. I will always thank my supervisor for the Four Agreement book

As it said in Kinyarwanda, Agashyushye ntigahora mu itama, I had to go home and start implementing what I learned all along. Transforming the community, it not a one-day activity. It is like building a house; without the strong foundation, you are sunk, work hard on yourself and give time title time!

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*Dedicate to Starbucks partners we met; thank you for ALL: …, books and pieces of advice.

*Can’t list them here but they are ALL Starbucks Coffee Company Partners, Seattle WA.