Mtra. Martha Catalina Cantú Canales

We would like to introduce you to our EXATEC Catalina Cantú, who has an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design and New Media from the CEDIM, and a master in Economics and Public Policy (MEK, 2012) from the Tecnológico de Monterrey School of Government and Public Transformation, where she took a summer course at Georgetown University. She has also completed a certificate course in public–private associations for infrastructure and design services, taught by the IDB. She is currently the editorial designer of the magazine Public Policies at the Tecnológico de Monterrey School of Government and Public Transformation. She is also a member of the COPARMEX Youth of Nuevo León Board. Last year, she did a research exchange at the World Bank, in Washington, D.C. Get to know her!

What does it mean to you to be at the World Bank?

Well, it’s a huge responsibility, but I think the result is worth much more than the fear of being here. You’re probably asking why I say it’s a huge responsibility, because here you focus on one question: what can I do? Now it’s me; my parents aren’t here anymore, or my classmates, or my professors. If something goes wrong, it’s my fault, and if something goes right, it’s because of me. It’s the real world. Being at the World Bank means helping to get rid of poverty. I’ve been working on infrastructure, which may not seem to be directly related to poverty, but it really is, and the challenge for me has been to prove it both in Mexico and internationally. My time here has helped me do that.

What are the main obstacles you see in terms of infrastructure in our country?

Well, the main challenges are regarding economic infrastructure, mainly in five sectors: transportation, energy, communications, water, and sanitation. What I’ve seen is that, in large cities like Mexico City where the weather is varied, the infrastructure deteriorates more quickly than in other places, and in the city, there are places where there is simply no infrastructure. For example, did you know that wherever you go, you have to leave at least 40 minutes early or you don’t get there on time? So, the question is, how can we improve this situation? It doesn’t necessarily have to do with new highways, adding new streets. The main point is urban development, creating high-impact, ad hoc policies that guarantee sustainable solutions.

How did your studies at the School help you for this moment?

What the School taught me was never to give up. I was in the MEK master, and now I’m doing my PhD and I’ve seen many administrative and faculty changes. It’s always been a pleasant surprise to see new changes, and I think it is like life: when you go out, you can’t always be there.