Here I am, writing my blog post for Endeavor on the airplane on my way to Bogota. It is hard to leave the beautiful mountains of Monterrey, but exciting to go to Colombia for the first time. Three weeks ago, I started working for Vialux, a Mexican company based in Monterrey that provides difficult-to-find cell sites to telecommunications carriers. So, why am I going to Bogota now?
My project at Vialux is to build a business plan for expansion to Brazil. The company’s last expansion project brought them to Colombia and Endeavor Entrepreneur Fernando Martinez (a partner at Vialux and the creator of my project) believed that it would be useful for me to go to Bogota and analyze the successes and failures of that expansion plan. After a few days there, I will fly to Brazil with Fernando for two weeks of meetings. The objective is to learn about the Brazilian market, gather as much information as possible for the expansion plan and find potential partners and managers for the future Brazil office.
All in all, working for Vialux has been an amazing experience so far. My project is very challenging and working with Omar Rios (Vialux’s Commercial Manager) and Fernando has been a great way to learn not only about the industry and the company, but also about the Mexican economy and way of doing business. I am also learning about entrepreneurship and the transition from a small, scrappy company to a larger, more structured one. These two men have shared every single detail of the company operations with me and that, combined with the aligned, positive environment at Vialux, has made me feel at home. I truly feel that I am part of the company and not just an intern.
However, life is not just about work and I have to confess that I was not expecting to meet the awesome people I have met in Monterrey. I was also not expecting that I would enjoy the Sierra Madre Mountains so much. It is fascinating to live in a place surrounded by these giant rocks! Mariya Krasteva, another eMBA who is studying at MIT and Harvard, is also working for Vialux, but at the parent company, Enexa. She is my roommate and together with two other Monterrey eMBAs, Maria Fernanda Brockman and Nuno Neves, we have been exploring everything the city has to offer. Local friends have been amazingly supportive and their hospitality allowed us to acclimate very quickly. We have gotten excursion tips from Rocio Diaz Gonzalez, our local Endeavor staff contact, many times and have enjoyed sightseeing, climbing, visiting caves, partying and of course eating (much more than I should!) real and delicious Mexican food.
I am glad that I have had the opportunity to get to know a little bit about Mexico, hang out with incredible friends and challenge myself with a very dynamic project which allows me to see the results of my work and feel that I am adding value to the company. I am sure I made the right choice when I decided to work with Vialux and its vibrant entrepreneurs Fernando and Francisco. In addition, it is rewarding to be part of Endeavor and to learn more about how this successful nonprofit is making a significant, social impact all over the world. The local office of Endeavor is always organizing events to put eMBAs, mentors and entrepreneurs together. What can be more inspiring? All my expectations have already been exceeded and I am looking forward for the next four weeks in this exciting atmosphere.