Laureate Student Ambassador: Christian Cullen

Like so many, Christian Cullen felt going into the business field was the smart thing to do.

“I studied business because I didn’t know what to do at 18,” he joked. “Here in Chile, business is a very good career. There are a lot of possibilities here.”

But after a while, Cullen became disillusioned with his career. He felt he could contribute something greater.

“I started to think that maybe business wasn’t the thing that I wanted to do for the rest of my life and maybe my purpose in life was something more,” Cullen said. “Something to do with helping others.”

During his college studies, he got an opportunity to travel to Dublin, Ireland and work with the non-profit Plan, a charity organization that assisted in facilitating sustainable practices in third world countries. This was a transformative moment for him.

“When I was working with them, I noticed that something in me changed,” he said. “I wasn’t just working for the money. I was working for something else.”

Seeking a new purpose in life, Christian decided to pursue a degree in construction at Instituto Profesional AIEP where he immediately got involved with different social impact initiatives.

“They [AIEP] are involved in the community and they’ve helped me make connections with some of the more vulnerable Chileans. In business, it’s all about profits, costs, and making more money but now I am connected to people and I better understand the issues they face.”

Cullen explained.

Through his work as a volunteer, Cullen soon realized the lack of adequate housing is one of the main issues affecting the underserved populations in Chile and decided to do something about it. While pursuing his degree, Cullen consults for the Chilean government, while helping to manage projects and in ten years, he said he wants to be part of a company that builds fully sustainable houses for the poorest residents.

“If you can see your community is better, with even the smallest adjustment you’ve helped to make, it’s really something. It changes how you look at the world,” said Cullen.

He is one of 6 students who have been selected to attend the B Corp Champions Retreat with Laureate International Universities. Cullen said he’s most looking forward to learning from everyone he meets in the United States.

“I’d like to form a strong network. Everything works better with a strong network,” said Cullen. “I also want to bring back something different to Chile. We work well, for now, but we don’t improve. We need to grow. We need fresh ideas.”

Cullen believes innovation will be key in solving housing and poverty in his home country.