For the international placement in the program, I wanted to challenge and put myself outside of my comfort zone. For this reason, I grasped the unique opportunity to support the recently integrated sales unit in Santiago, Chile, which was undergoing a lot of change moving from a dealer business to a direct sales unit. My task during the 3 months was to support the build-up of business controlling of the rental and used equipment department.
This was a very new business field for me, as throughout the program I was mostly focusing on the logistic systems division. The first few weeks were not easy as my Spanish was not very advanced and I had to quickly improve it for business and everyday life.
However, looking back I can undoubtedly say that for me this was one of the most valuable placements throughout the program. I found that in such a changing and growing environment, you can quickly get involved in many things and are able to make an impact. I was able to learn a lot about our business model, finance and controlling while contributing to the development of tools and processes that ensure success of Chile’s ambitious rental growth targets. In this time, I have met many inspiring people and learned a lot about how to effectively lead people by example.
I have realized that at the end of the day what really drives a business to grow is the passion that people put in their work. The biggest learning I can take from this experience is that you often need to put yourself in other people’s shoes and see things from a different perspective. During university, and I imagine especially for those of you that study technical degrees, the task is often finding the solution to a given problem. In reality, a seemingly trivial problem may be hiding something completely different and an intuitive solution may in reality be completely misplaced in that specific context.
Overall, I felt very welcomed in the team, which has an infectious drive and motivation and made many friends along the way. I was able to develop tools and processes that are still used today. I had an incredible time in Chile and can say that in those three months I had enough earthquake experiences for a lifetime =)
JIG United Kingdom