This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Karen Herrera, COL/WH ’21
Vibrant streets filled with the sounds of passionate tangos, blaring protests, and ardent debates housed my stay for two months in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. Thanks to the Summer Funding Award granted by Career Services, I was able to make this far-fetched dream a reality.
This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at an information technology and services firm called Lyncros. Through the Penn Abroad Global Internship Program (GIP) in Buenos Aires, I was able to go through a series of interviews in order to match to a company that would introduce me to my interests. Initially, I had applied looking to be a marketing intern, but as the internship start date got closer, my supervisors and I decided that business development would be better suited for the company’s needs and the exposure and skills I wanted to get out of my experience. This was my first internship and an introduction to a potential career in business. Fortunately, it played a great part in validating my decision to apply to a dual degree between Wharton and the College.
My project for the summer consisted of introducing one of Lyncros’ solutions, Connect, to various universities in the Latin America and U.S. market with the purpose of acquiring new clients. Connect is a tool that facilitates alumni relations and simulates the features of platforms like LinkedIn, but is specific to a university and available through mobile access. It was thrilling to be in the environment of a technology services firm and gain exposure to processes and technologies like those of blockchain, mobile applications, and software. The summer funding allowed me to discover a sector I had never explored in a foreign setting. It piqued my interest in a future career in technology with a particular focus in Latin America.
Throughout the weeks as my co-workers and I sipped on mate and discussed national politics, the economy, and our goals for the week, I realized the potential that Latin America had as a business hub. For example, Argentina is heavily involved in the development of blockchain technologies. Unfortunately, due to unstable economies and governments, many companies limit their involvement in Latin America, causing services and technologies taken for granted in the U.S., such as Uber and Apple Products, to be limited or scarce. As countries in Latin America fight for justice, democracy, fair representation, improving economies, and the like, there is an opportunity that awaits to bring a world of technologies and services to life.
At the end of my internship with Lyncros, I was able to get over 15 new client acquisitions. With me, I take the memories of the hospitality of my host family in Buenos Aires, the beautiful sights of Iguazu, the sociability and passion of Argentinos, the involvement of citizens in politics, the beauty and dichotomy of La Boca, the ardor involved with following the Argentinian team during the FIFA World Cup, the delicious taste of steaks and empanadas, and the convenient access to reliable and cheap transportation. This was truly an unforgettable summer in the city of good air.