I feel fortunate to be a beneficiary of the Research Triangle Park.
Why do I consider myself to be a beneficiary of RTP?
I could list my exposure to some of the world’s greatest technologies and corporate infrastructures, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell you that I have benefitted the most from the relationships that I’ve formed through working in RTP with individuals from all over the world.
If I close my eyes, I can think back over my working years and instantly see IBM coworkers from India, Mexico, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Scotland, Ireland, Egypt, France, Spain, Australia, Russia, China, Japan, and Canada. I can also easily recall my coworker friends from England and Venezuela who I had the pleasure of working with at GlaxoSmithKline’s RTP facilities. I can see all of their faces, and I can remember many of their accent-laden words.
Through my acquaintance with all of these individuals, I’ve been exposed to the many different cultures of the world. For example, my former Scottish coworkers at IBM got me to taste-test haggis, while a British director at GlaxoSmithKline educated me about “real football,” or soccer, that is. Ironically, I was first shown the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi by a Japanese coworker at IBM, and I learned how fresh fruit is often served as dessert in El Salvador by a dynamo global customer services manager at IBM who hailed from there.
More important than learning about the foods and sports games that were popular in the native countries of my RTP coworkers, over the years, I’ve also learned about my global coworkers’ beliefs and world views, many of which have been alternative to mine. Yes, through my interactions with my non-U.S. native colleagues, I’ve broadened my knowledge of the world, and I could not have done so without the existence of RTP.
Those who know me from my childhood might ask: how could a girl like you, from a small eastern N.C. town, end up married to a Spaniard who grew up in South America? On the other hand, those who know me from my working days in RTP probably won’t question the likelihood of such a pairing.
This post is my small thank you to RTP. Thank you, RTP, for broadening my outlook. Thank you for introducing me to the different peoples of the world. And, most of all, thank you for allowing me to experience so much of the world without having to leave the Tarheel state that I love.