Welcome to the life of an intern in Buenos Aires. Ben talks about his placement with the Argentine Union of Young Entrepreneurs and what it's like venturing into the Argentine business world. He shares how he balances his day-to-day tasks while resolving issues and helping clients through it all. Plus, Ben also got to gain strides with his Spanish skills!
As an International Business major, the chance to do an internship in Buenos Aires that's relevant to my major was a no brainer. Gaining Spanish business competency, learning about the business culture of Argentina, and exploring Buenos Aires at the same time is a great way to get started in the world of International Business.
I work at UNAJE (Unión Argentina de Jóvenes Empresarios), or the Argentine Union of Young Entrepreneurs. Specifically, I work in the Treasury and Partners Development departments, helping with data entry, partner outreach, billing, and other projects. UNAJE works with young entrepreneurs, aged 18-40, and helps with networking, resources, and consulting. It also plans events to help its clients learn new skills, grow their businesses, and meet other people that may potentially lead to partnerships down the road.
A view from my personal office space!
At UNAJE, the work environment is quite relaxed, and everyone is really friendly. It’s not uncommon to hear people playing ping-pong or eating lunch together in the common area.
Here's the recreational space at the office.
While the work environment is open and friendly, there is a lot to get done. I spend a lot of my time updating client information in the database, emailing clients to resolve various issues, sending Whatsapp messages to clients for quick fixes, working on presentations, translating documents, and reaching out to prospective clients.
With so much to do, sometimes I need a coffee…good thing the office has free coffee and snacks!!
It’s also really cool to sit in on meetings with clients and offer a different perspective. I enjoy learning about their businesses and seeing how UNAJE helps them develop. Furthermore, since the internship and all meetings are in Spanish, I am gaining a lot of language skills during my time here. Whether I am chatting with a coworker, working on a presentation, or corresponding with clients, I am always speaking Spanish!
About halfway through my internship, I had the opportunity to go to Argentina Visión 2020/40, an annual conference held in Buenos Aires to discuss the Argentine economy, growth and development plans, and goals for 2020 and 2040. This year was focused on environmental impact and the Argentine agriculture/bio-agriculture industries, which are very important to the economy. I learned a lot about whey production, sunflower seed production and worldwide sales, and the distribution of frozen foods from Argentina across the world. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of meeting several of UNAJE’s clients; it’s always nice to put a face to a name that you’ve been corresponding with!
Me, in the middle, with several members of the UNAJE team and some clients at the Argentina Visión conference.
Overall, I feel like I am getting a lot out of this experience, from language skills and business exposure to personal development and networking. I’m glad to gain so much, all while helping small business grow and navigate Argentina’s difficult economy!!
Ben Gunduz is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2019, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An International Businessmajor at Northeastern University, he is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.
Ben's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.