Global leadership in Mexico

A Northeastern business student led the American student delegation and chaired a panel on international trade at this year’s Y-20 Forum, convened in Mexico ahead of next month’s G-20 Summit.

Michael Creegan, who just completed his first of two years abroad through the College of Business Administration’s international business program, was approached earlier this year by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, which was searching for American college students living and working in the area to participate in the forum. He met with the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne, who asked Creegan to lead the delegation, made up of students from across the United States.

“I was the go-to person between the U.S Embassy and the delegation, so I was the main point of contact as we started working with delegates from each of the other countries on a document that would go to the professional delegates who would be at the G-20,” said Creegan. He is back in the United States for the summer, working an internship at Bloomberg in New York, before returning to Mexico for a second year.

Creegan had studied at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla and worked at CEO Business Consulting, a firm that helped Latin- and Central-American companies break into American and Canadian markets. He was considered a perfect fit to head the delegation, which would address a number of global issues — many of them tied to the economy and trade.

“It was our responsibility to provide the delegates with the perspectives of the world’s youth,” he said. “We only had a few days to come up with a single paper making clear the youth’s views on the issues the G-20 would be addressing, and it had to be unanimous.”

Given the language and cultural barriers, consensus seemed like a difficult task as first. But after three days of dialogue — and a series of revisions — the group completed its task and presented it on national television before a group of leaders including Mexican president Felipe Calderón.

“I think we did a really good job,” Creegan said. “We accomplished a very important thing in just a few days, but more important, I think, we learned a lot about working with other cultures. Some people might not voice their objections on their own, but when the time comes might vote against something and completely surprise you. So you have to learn to sometimes take the focus off yourself and look at how someone else is seeing and understanding something.”

Creegan is set to graduate from Northeastern next spring after completing more time abroad in Mexico and, he hopes, Brazil.

“I’ve got experiences at Northeastern I couldn’t have had anywhere else, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world,” he said.