High-Impact Entrepreneurship

eMBA field report: financial savvy and pisco sours in Santiago

eMBAs Suzanne Schumer & Mariana Torres at Cajon de Maipo

Suzanne Schumer graduated The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2012 with an MBA focused on finance and marketing strategy. She is working as an intern for ForexChile in Chile as a part of the Endeavor eMBA Program.

It was early on a Sunday morning in the middle of holiday weekend when I arrived in Santiago. To me, it seemed like all of Las Condes had left for the weekend to celebrate Día de las Glorias Navales. As I explored the city on that first day, I was struck by Santiago’s quiet beauty.

The peacefulness of my walk was a stark contrast to the energy within my office. In Santiago, an excited team of financial analysts and sales executives kept the pulse of an ‘off-Wall Street’ Wall Street throughout the workday. This New York replica made me feel almost like I was back at home.

This summer, I was hired as the Executive Director of International Expansion for ForexChile, an online brokerage firm that enables customers to transact a variety of securities (including stocks, commodities, foreign currency pairs, etc.) without the need for an investment professional. The operation is run by ambitious executives who are looking to expand rapidly throughout Latin America. My job is to design the business plan, focusing on sales and marketing, for ForexChile’s entrance into Peru. I am currently three weeks into my internship and deep into analytics.

For me, one of the best aspects of the job has been the multi-country experience. I have already visited both the Santiago and Lima offices, and plan to make a few more trips back and forth in the coming months. These trips are not only exciting but essential to my understanding of the different markets and key success drivers for the business.

In addition, I have made the most of my weekends outside of work. Not yet fluent in Spanish, I have had a few adventures navigating the cities’ bus and subway systems, venturing into neighboring towns and nature preserves, joining with kind strangers on bike tours of vineyards, attending music performances at museums, and trying at least one pisco sour in both cities. (The jury is still out on whether pisco is better in Chile or Peru.) Looking ahead, I can’t imagine returning to the US without my all-too-frequent empanada pino (from Santiago) or my “What cuisine should I try today?” mentality (from Lima).

Endeavor Entrepreneurs at ForexChile:

Erwin Andia

Cristóbal Forno

Nicolás Gallardo

Andrés Rojas

Suzanne Schumer at a Chilean vineyard with a fellow bike tourist

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