Written by Arturs Danga from Latvia:
While it seems that the count of days has become highly irrelevant, this particular day many of us had been looking forward to for quite a while. Why is that you may ask, perhaps with a mild tingle of skepticism in your voice. It would do no justice to this wonderful day, to put the answer so simply, so bluntly, and yet so explicitly – it’s because we went to Boston: the City Upon a Hill, the Cradle of Liberty.
Now, let that sink in for a little while. Most of us in the program have never been to the U.S. Sure, some of us have traveled across Europe, but the point is that none of those places compare. After the two-hour bus ride from the University of New England campus, we began to notice the silent silhouettes of Downtown Boston from our windows. There lay the skyscrapers, tall, grey and cold, violently piercing the skies above. Suddenly, the bus came alive. Those who were sleeping were now at the peak of their attention, feverishly grabbed their phones and cameras to capture the blurry, yet astonishing sight. Those sitting right by the windows smiled in satisfaction, as they happen to acquire the best possible view. Others were visibly jealous.
As we drove further down, the highway became increasingly monstrous, the road turning, tangling and twisting beyond human comprehension. For a while, the only thing to feast our eyes upon was the underground tunnel and its cream-colored tiles. A few seconds of distant sunlight. Back in the insatiable mouth of the tunnel, we went.
It seems as though we had been driving forever when the bus finally stopped in the prestigious city of Cambridge.
Yes, you guessed it, we were at Harvard University! We explored Harvard Yard accompanied by a lovely tour guide, who was eager to tell us plenty of intriguing historical information with a sprinkle of some local myths about the university. We were encouraged to take our chances and apply, although in my personal opinion the odds of getting in for any of us are more than just not in our favor. But hey, anyone can dream, so they say.
Our next stop was the overawing, mind-blowing sixty-two story John Hancock Tower. We were scheduled to meet with Kim Davis, the chairman of BAFF and the founding partner of Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private equity firm of more than $6 billion under his management.
A few moments after our arrival, we were escorted to the beaming elevators that quite literally skyrocketed us all the way up to the 54th floor. We grabbed some sandwiches and diet coke and hung out with the awesome Mr. Davis for quite some time, we talked about business, history, politics, and life. I could only describe him as a genuine, charismatic talker, who happens to be truly interesting to listen to. There’re many takeaways from the conversation, I am sure everyone had lots to consider afterward.
The panoramic view from the fifty-fourth floor was stunning. Everyone took pictures to later post on Instagram. Our Boston adventure continued with a visit to the Museum of Science, which was probably intended for a younger age group, considering most of the exhibitions were highly interactive. The museum had dinosaurs in it which immensely added to the experience.
For the final part of the day, we were let loose at the famous Quincy Market, where everyone was free to grab mostly deep-fried snacks that I happen to love so much. While waiting for the bus to return back to campus, we got an exclusive chance to witness a once-in-a-lifetime street dance that was led by two energetic men. The show tackled some controversial topics in a fun and entertaining way, which certainly garnered laughter and cheers from the crowd.