The moment when Team Uprise Digital was announced as the winners of EIA weekend 2019 was one of exhilaration for our whole team, because all our hard work had paid off. We also realised that we had won a business trip to Chile to learn more about business in Latin America. I personally was slightly worried about the trip; no one I knew had visited Latin America, and it was a completely foreign continent in culture and business market to me.
We flew over to Chile in
the second week of the school holidays and jumped straight into the trip. We spent lots of time walking around the streets of Santiago and visiting local businesses, such as Rappi and The NotCo. We learned so much about the Chilean way of doing business, and how the market is different to New Zealand. It was really refreshing to gain a totally different business insight, but also to see how others saw New Zealand. We spent time with local Chilean students, who really helped us to gain a better sense of the local culture, and were super helpful, answering all of the many questions our group had about Chile.
A highlight was visiting the Winebox Hotel in Valparaiso. The hotel is an innovative structure made from shipping containers and run by a Kiwi. The hotel was spectacular in every sense, and the rooftop patio was the best place we had eaten all trip. I really enjoyed hearing about his successes away from New Zealand, and how he has established a successful business far away from New Zealand. He has inspired me to be more open about exploring the world, and to welcome opportunities as they come.
I have learned so much as a result of the trip. My expectations of Chile were completely blown away, I was surprised at the cleanliness of the city, and the friendliness of people we met. Prior to this trip, I was comfortable at the thought of doing business in New Zealand, but after seeing so many businesses thrive in a different corner of the globe, I am far more excited to take future business ventures abroad. I also learned a lot about myself. I was nervous at the thought of travelling internationally without family to a new continent, but I am so glad I have had this experience. My cultural understanding of Chile has increased so much, and my general business knowledge also grew dramatically.
I would really like to thank LATAM CAPE for this opportunity to broaden my horizons, and to experience a whole other culture in a business setting. Also, I wish to thank the three chaperones who helped keep our group together and helped us learn as much as possible.