Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) at Torrens University student Kalani Walerys is one of three Laureate Australia students who have been selected to attend the upcoming World of Business Ideas (WOBI) conference in Mexico City at the end of June.

Kalani, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Business (International Hotel and Resort Management), was chosen from a pool of 50 applicants to attend the event, which will present some of the world’s most inspirational speakers on the Power of Purpose.

Along with two other students selected by Laureate International Universities, Kalani will be flown to the event where she will hear from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, meet Laureate peers from across the globe and gain valuable experience in thought leadership.

BMIHMS students Alex Diesta, Sahib Bawa, Laura Wiersma and Andrea Corral Zamacona were also shortlisted as finalists to attend the event after submitting powerful applications on the Power of Purpose (personally and or professionally).


Kalani’s application focused on the importance of encouraging people not to define themselves by where they come from and to never give up on their dreams.

“I am from a small country town where it is very normal for people to limit themselves by the ideas of where they have grown up,” she said in her application video.

“ I am the first in my family to undertake a tertiary education and while my parents have been supportive of my dreams, it has been a financial struggle. I have three little cousins at home that look up to me. I want them to know that they don’t have to be defined by where they come from. I now know that the best things come from hard work, commitment and perseverance. I want to share my knowledge, that breaking away from norms and stepping outside of what is comfortable isn’t bad, it’s a sign of growth.”

Laureate Australia General Manager (Hospitality), Jerome Casteigt, said:

“Being part of the worldwide Laureate network gives BMIHMS students incredible access to opportunities to learn at unique events and in challenging environments, and WOBI is no different.

“Kalani’s story is a powerful one and her motivation and determination to succeed is evident in everything she does here at BMIHMS.We are absolutely thrilled that she has been selected to attend WOBI, and we are equally proud of those students who were shortlisted as finalists for sharing their own stories and ideas.

“We look forward to continuing to present our students with similar opportunities for growth and development moving forward. I have no doubt that we’ll even be seeing some of them presenting at similar events down the track as future leaders of the hospitality industry.”

WOBI 2016 will bring together business leaders from all over the world to discuss emerging trends, find solutions to pressing problems, and apply new knowledge.

Attendees will learn about the power of purpose: what is needed to discover personal and organisational purpose; how to integrate purpose into corporate strategy and align people around it; and how to involve a broader audience in this purpose, whether in a local, regional or global level.

Confirmed speakers include Chip Conley, the founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels and author of the New York Times bestseller Emotional Equations; Bill George, former CEO of MedTronic and current professor at Harvard Business School; and Steven Kotler, American bestselling author, journalist, and entrepreneur, amongst many other industry leaders.

The event will be held on 29-30 June and broadcasted to Laureate campuses worldwide, including BMIHMS. For more information, visit the Laureate Live website.

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