Working in one of the most important emerging markets for the printing industry is very exciting and fast paced. Now add living in a city that never sleeps with more than 20 million people in the metro area, and you have yourself an adventurous summer.
I am in the homestretch of my Heidelberg internship in Sao Paulo, Brazil and these past three months have been truly incredible. Having previously worked in Europe and the United States, I can say that everyone around the world can learn from the Brazilian culture and the country’s emerging industry.
My projects have been largely focused on driving the business of Heidelberg’s Prinect software in Brazil. Developing market introduction plans for new products, implementing new go-to-market strategies and finding areas for reducing costs are examples of what I have been doing this summer. I greatly enjoy the business side of printing, and interacting with people to make the new strategies a reality is even more rewarding.
From a cultural standpoint, I have found Brazilians to be some of the nicest and most welcoming people I have ever met. Every day at the office, I am personally greeted with a handshake from each of my colleagues. And the amount of invites from people eager to show me their culture on the weekends has been truly incredible.
One difference I noticed right away was that lunch breaks are almost twice the length of that in the United States or even Germany, and everyone takes coffee breaks in the afternoon to socialize. I feel that the Brazilian culture is unique in the sense that the people balance out work and social interaction instead of getting trapped into the commonly overworked norm that we are used to.
Working in the emerging market is something I have found to be very refreshing. In comparison to the more mature market of the United States, being involved in the growth potential here and working to fully harvest from it is exciting. The printing industry here has much to look forward to in the coming years.
The main lesson I would like to share with you is how important it is to continually seek out new experiences to use in your line of work. It’s amazing how different cultures around the world look at the same topic and see it completely differently.
If I had not left the United States, I would have been locked into my instinctive thought pattern. I suggest finding new books to read, talking to people in other industries, getting out of the office to visit customers and, if the opportunity presents itself, going abroad.