a, Student Life, Student of the Week

Student of the Week: Juan Estalella

To say that Juan Estalella is committed and engaged in McGill’s community is an understatement. Along with being a full-time U1 student in Management, Estalella is on the executive team of four different clubs. He is currently the marketing coordinator for the SLASummit 2015, VP Media for the International Management Association (IMA), VP Sponsorship for the Junior Hong Kong Canada Business Association, and part of the second-year team for Right to Play.

Estalella believes education, social equality, and sustainable development are the key elements to a successful future for the world. According to Estalella, the 2015 SLASummit and Right to Play enables him to combine these elements.

“The SLASummit [2015] is a social conference and case competition that will gather 150 students from South and North America to find sustainable solutions to certain problems in communities in Latin America,” Estalella explained.

Moreover, Estalella said that the hands-on experience offered at SLASummit is what he finds most appealing.

“The cool thing about this project is that the winning team will actually get the funds to go and implement the project in the community,” he said. “This event will help educate the students about the problems in Latin American communities, while creating a social project that will be sustainable in the future.”

Last summer, Estalella spent a month volunteering in India teaching in a hospital with 40 children who were HIV positive. He stated that his trip to India made a strong impact on his perception of our society’s current state and inspired him to work to change its future. 

“[Through my trip to India] I learned to value every single thing that I have,” Estalella said. “A family, good health, food, clean water, a home, and clothes are things that we usually take for granted but are unfortunately not present in everyone’s lives.”

Estalella finds his role models in the late Nelson Mandela and Spanish professional basketball player Pau Gasol.

“Mandela proved to us that we all have the power to change those rules and laws that we are not happy with,” he said. “Anyone can make a significant change in their lives and in this world. All they have to do is believe in themselves.”

“I am also a great basketball fan, and Pau Gasol is a Spanish basketball player that I have always followed and was lucky enough to meet in person,” Estelella continued. “He is a great player and also a world ambassador for UNICEF.”

Estalella’s determination to get involved in alleviating societal problems as well as his drive to create a positive change in the world is largely a result of inspiration from his grandmother, who he credits as having an immense positive change in his life.

“She passed away two years [ago],” he said. “It was the first time that I faced a family tragedy, and it was hard to keep my positive and energetic attitude in inevitable sad times. I am proud of how I managed my anger towards cancer, and how I kept a positive view on things despite this.” 

For the future, Estalella hopes to see a world where there is more collaboration and where people are more conscious of their actions.

“I want people to care more about each other instead of simply satisfying their personal needs,” he said.

What do you think is the best place on earth?

Wherever family is.

Which celebrity would you like to meet?

Bill Gates. He has a different mindset from any other successful businessman, and gives a great amount of his earnings to charities and NPO’s worldwide to improve worldwide education.

What TV series would you like to star in if given the opportunity?

I feel that I could be an interesting character in Modern Family.

Favourite food?

Eggs over easy with rice, tomato sauce, and jamón Serrano (a typical Spanish dish). Every time I have that dish it reminds me of home.

Hidden talent?

I can speak four languages fluently: Spanish, English, French, and German.

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