Even though the Colombian government has been aiming to make bilingualism part of a business culture in order to keep its professionals competitive in a global marketplace, few language academies branch out to teach the real and practical English needed when making a business deal or writing that essential sales pitch for an international client.
There is English in the classroom, and there is the English of “the street,” that which is used everyday from Wall Street to Main Street.
As the founder of the Bogotá-based language institute BSR Idiomas, Robert Brandwayn identified a “niche” for executives wanting to broaden their use of English by studying case studies by other business and how language can be real and relevant in the workplace.
Through the Business School CESA and their publishing division Editorial CESA, Brandwayn proposed a book with interviews with Colombian business expats who have been successful overseas; and how they succeeded by mastering a foreign language. Robert began to interview “friends of friends” to create dozens of specific case studies over the course of three years.
The book was designed to be part interview, part vocabulary and with specific profiles English language business students could relate to. As his boutique BSR Idiomas works closely with corporations and multinationals investing in bilingual executives, Brandwayn came up with the title for his book: ‘10 Successful Colombian Executives Working Abroad.’
For Brandwayn, the 10 Successful Colombian Executives Working Abroad undertaking is as much of a learning process of real word experiences, as it is about self-empowerment through determination, creativity and the navigating the ups and downs of a global entrepreneurial arena.
From profiling leaders in the dot coms to the food and retail sectors, ‘10 Successful Colombian Executives Working Abroad,’ has earned, since its release early this year great acceptance among future MBA students and is part of the essential reading list for post graduates of CESA.
Brandwayn shies away from any classification as a business “expert” and emphasizes his love of art and as a painter. But as an entrepreneur himself, he has witnessed first hand how Colombia has become not only an attractive destination for professional English teachers, but how the level of English among Colombian executives is improving. “There is an understanding that English is the global language,” states Brandwayn. “BSR is very emphatic that people have to also speak “globeish.”
Brandwayn’s ‘10 Successful’ is available at the CESA bookstore and BSR- Idiomas.