From the Capital of Canada, to the Capital of Mobile Technology. My experience at the Mobile World Congress 2016.

A year ago, an event such as the Mobile World Congress seemed to me as an unreachable event only to be touched by the elite of the technology and business world. A year ago this event was half way across the world from me. A year ago, I could only imagine what it would be like to be surrounded by the world’s most innovative and progressive minds.

This year I had the absolute pleasure of being amongst all the people I thought I would never reach (or at least this early on in my professional career).

You might be asking yourself why I see this event with so much importance- It’s just another congress. To me, the Mobile World Congress only means being one step closer to my goal of professional success. I am able to be surrounded by the people I look up to, I am able to ask all the questions I once could only imagine the answers to, and I am able to affirm that I am heading down the “right path” to my ultimate goal of becoming successful in the business world.

As I stepped out of my taxi in front of the grand Fira Gran Via, I immediately found myself surrounded by suits, pencil skirts, heels, and briefcases – in my crazy world, this was a feeling of true belonging.

Side note- I want to take a moment to salute all the women who survived four consecutive days standing on heels. I must admit, I changed into my flats within 20 minutes.

mobile-world-congressSo how did I get into the event? Fortunately I didn’t have to jump any gates. I had the pleasure of being invited to the Mobile World Congress by Fantoo, the future of e-mail. I worked alongside their team to spread the word about how they have and continue to change the way we use e-mail. As we all know, e-mail is a productivity killer and is hands down painful to use. Fantoo makes e-mail beautiful again. I predict that they will inevitably take over the e-mail world (and I am usually never wrong… 90% success rate- modestly speaking of course).

I had the opportunity to learn from three of the most brilliant minds and positive spirits; CEO and founder Jordan Fantaay, CO-founder and CFO Seena Saini, and Director of Business Development Tom Hopkins, all whom made my experience at the Congress unforgettable.

Aside from working with Fantoo, I spent time curiously walking from end to end of the congress, learning about all the different companies that were there to showcase themselves or their products. I had the chance to discover technology which I had no idea existed! My ultimate favourite was a virtual reality roller-coaster ride that had people screaming as if they were literally falling thousands of feet from the sky. Not only does such VR technology have the capability of revolutionizing the way the end users consume content, but I must say that it was an amusing experience to see some of the most serious white collar businessmen scream and laugh at the top of their lungs.

More importantly… the networking events. If you thought your day was over at 6pm when the congress died down, you are wrong. There were multiple gatherings to choose from that begun from the moment the congress day ended. I shot back a few cappuccinos, took a power nap (if I was lucky), and headed straight to the events. I would be crazy to let such an opportunity pass by me because of a couple yawns and slightly aching feet. The events gave me an unbelievable chance to ask all the questions I have ever had about business and technology. This was probably the most fun I have ever had networking as there were people from all walks of life, who were so eager to offer me first class advice.

So I leave you with the most valuable advice I received at the congress; “Stop thinking about what the world can offer you, and start thinking about what you can offer the world. Take what you enjoy doing, and become so damn good at it that they can’t forget you”.

Monique Zareba