Growing in the US,
Changing Mindsets in Romania
I have always been an admirer of the American way of life and I am glad the Fulbright-RAF (Romanian-American Foundation) Scholar Award gave me the possibility to spend a semester immersed in the academic environment in the United States. This period of time brought to our entire Romanian group excellent learning opportunities at the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Rochester, other universities across the USA, and various organizations involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of upstate New York. We had the opportunity to discover firsthand how entrepreneurship and innovation are transforming the region and giving it the competitive edge it needs for the 21st century.
The lessons we learned and the great models and practices we discovered will certainly guide our activity back home in our universities. One of the defining aspects of this program is the desire to infuse the same passion and courage into the young generation in Romania as the ones we have seen in the US. In a world that becomes very dynamic and uncertain, I consider it to be essential to have young people who are not afraid of work and risk taking and are willing to fight for what they believe in. I came back to Romania with a fresh and optimistic outlook about establishing new ways to deliver entrepreneurial education and foster into our students the desire to be innovative and create new ventures based around their engineering skills. So, I must confess I am really excited to contribute to this long but rewarding journey within Technical University of Cluj-Napoca.
I think living and working in the USA has a wonderful way of changing the way you feel about freedom and opportunity: infusing you with self-confidence and the desire to change the world around you. Getting to experience the American culture first hand, from food and drinks to arts and sports, and being able to travel and visit some of the spectacular cities and sites of the US – Niagara Falls, a natural wonder of the world, definitely comes to mind here – really put into context for me the sheer scale and complexity of this amazing country and its people.
Mihai Dragomir was one of six Romanian professors in 2017 to receive a Fulbright-RAF research grant to learn about entrepreneurship at the University of Rochester. Dragomir is an Associate Professor of Machine Building in the department of Design Engineering and Robotics at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. He enjoys investigating new product development, quality engineering, and computer-aided engineering.