My time in São Paolo, Brazil - AIESEC in The Netherlands

My time in São Paolo, Brazil

A life-changing experience started for me in January 2020.

I left behind all the fear and doubts and I said Yes to an adventure, miles away from the Netherlands. I spent 2 amazing months in São Paulo, Brazil, that I can only describe as “unforgettable”.

São Paulo plane view

My main aspiration for this experience was to develop my interpersonal skills, as well as gain professional experience from working in a start-up culture. I can say that I succeeded in both! I was working as a Sales and Prospection intern in a Digital Marketing agency in Santo André, located in the metropolitan area of São Paulo.

The company had only 8 employees, with a great working culture and a cosy environment. The CEO was very supportive and allowed for tailoring the job description, according to my professional interests. Therefore, I was able to contribute with some market research for future prospects expansion, attended sales meetings with real clients and understood the whole process workflow of a digital marketing agency. I could be creative in this environment, as I assisted in preparing initial planning presentations for new clients.

Evening at UFABC in Santo Andre, Brazil

  The best part was that I could find a link between my educational background and the job.

    One of the most interesting tasks was giving a workshop to the employees of the company on Agile methodology and how they could apply it to become more efficient. I really enjoyed preparing and presenting it to my colleagues and I definitely gained some professional experience. As I said, the company culture was amazing and on Happy Hour every Friday, we enjoyed drinking, trying traditional food and singing karaoke. So, very soon my colleagues became my friends.

Workshop at work | Activities with colleagues

Soon, I realized that people had difficulty in speaking and understanding English. So, here comes the first challenge “I have to speak Portuguese if I want to survive here! I would have to find an effective way to communicate with my colleagues, my host family and anyone that I would interact with. Thanks to my very little effort in learning some Portuguese before arriving here, I was able to understand only very few things.

Catedral da Sé, São Paulo, Brazil

In two weeks, I managed to say my first full sentence and I felt extremely proud. By the end of the first month, I could understand the core of conversations and it was so satisfactory. The second month, I was even able to translate for new AIESEC interns. I am loving the language and I am so motivated to keep learning now, after my return.

Life after work was amazing. AIESEC in ABC was very friendly and had a great community of other interns. We had Portuguese classes at the university and weekly progress meetings. I was so lucky to have a great connection with my host family. They were so friendly, helpful and caring.

Thanks to my host, I got an introduction to the full Brazilian experience.

Delicious caipirinjas with maracujá & berries

Let me name some of them: I learned how to dance samba and the very popular Brazilian funk, sang to lovely Brazilian songs (which also helped with learning), I tried delicious food and countless caipirinhas, I visited beautiful beaches and the highlight of all was Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. The timing of my experience was perfect, hot weather and a whole month of Carnival celebrations. Sharing all these moments with friends from all over the world was the best part.

Summing up the whole experience and how it contributed to my development, this is what I would highlight. First, relating to the main Leadership qualities, I have developed a better level of self-awareness. I became more confident in taking decisions and daring to take risks. Embracing the different and adapting to a very different culture gave me a whole new perspective on looking at life. The life change was so drastic, that you could make the most out of it, only if you showed an open attitude and saw the bright side of things.

Kleopatra and other interns enjoying brazil

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

Second, this experience has elevated my fast-learning ability. Diving deep into the new is the best way to get yourself some life skills, like learning a new language, how to safely travel around on your own, making friends from a different background than yours.

Last, it was an experience worth living. I have gained amazing friends, great memories and interesting stories to tell. Thank you Brazil!

beach in rio de janeiro in brazil

Praia do Leme, Rio de Janeiro



Read more
My AIESEC volunteering project in Italy

My AIESEC volunteering project in Italy

In January 2020 I participated in an AIESEC Project on environment and sustainability in Castellana Grotte, Italy. I was lucky to stay six weeks in one of the most beautiful small villages I have been to. My work was about teaching the kids in the local Highschool on the UN SDGs and sustainability. My fellow AIESEC students were so kind to pick me up in Bari. They made sure I was safe and showed me how to travel to my destination.

Handling stress of working from home

Handling stress of working from home

Many people regard working from home as an overall goal for their work-life balance. They work with the help of evolving technologies such as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Slack, Google Hangouts and cloud computing. Recently, the work from home job force has gotten a push by the current global coronavirus pandemic.

Organising the Global Health Cycle

Organising the Global Health Cycle

  Organising the global health cycle AIESEC is, in its essence, 1) a leadership organisation, 2) that provides cross-cultural exchanges. COVID-19 shut down the latter as we know it. Our challenge was to host it on zoom. The initial challenge “Well, there is not much...

The power of cultural intelligence

The power of cultural intelligence

A third type of intelligence, only introduced after the start of the 21st century, is CQ; Cultural Quotient, or cultural intelligence. Every person’s cultural expression (e.g. their way of speech, beliefs, norms, body language, rituals and so on) are influenced by the cultural society they are or used to be part of. Due to this unique, intrinsic collection of culture every person carries with them, we are all different.

Connect Youth: Purpose Driven Networking

Connect Youth: Purpose Driven Networking

Covid-19 triggered us to be more creative in finding ways to finding new ways to create value for our members and to make use of the possibilities that the online world has to offer. Hence, we wanted to create an inspiring online network event for our members. An opportunity for them to connect to the national network and to get to know different types of organisations in a valuable way.

What is Climate Change?

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is defined as a shift in the average conditions of global or regional climate patterns over approximately 30 years. This causes global warming and unexpected weather conditions in every country on every continent.


Take the first step.

Book a free consultation call in one of our cities to explore your opportunities!