Can you believe it? Sage Corps’ Winter 2016 Cohort is more than half way through their global internship experience in Buenos Aires (BA)! As a part of Sage Corps' Team back in Chicago, I got the incredible opportunity to lead a 2-day orientation in BA and spend 3 additional weeks with our 7 Fellows at asados (BBQ), networking events and exploring this amazing city. Through my experience I got to witness, first-hand, what it means to become a Sage Corps Fellow. I recently checked in with our Fellows to get their take on living the Sage Corps life. Below you'll find their responses to these three questions:

WHAT IS IT LIKE SO FAR TO WORK AT A STARTUP IN BUENOS AIRES?

WHAT TWO TRAITS ARE NECESSARY TO LIVE & WORK ABROAD?

WHY HAS THIS COHORT CREATED SUCH A STRONG BOND?


You're more than 1/2 way through your internship abroad experience with Sage Corps. What's your take on working at a startup in Buenos Aires thus far? More specifically, what is it like to work at the startup we matched you with?

Omead Sinai (second to last on right side) sitting down to lunch with his team 

Omead Sinai (second to last on right side) sitting down to lunch with his team 

Omead Sinai (University of Michigan Fellow/GoodMeal Intern): "Wow! I still can't believe we're more than half-way though our time here. Working at GoodMeal has taught me so much already. Everyday I'm working on something that I've never done before; analyzing data, contacting customers for feedback, meeting about how to change the product accordingly. It's all so relevant to what I will be doing in consulting and it's honestly surprising that I never learned this in college. The GoodMeal team has been amazing in helping to make my experience great and ensuring that I'm doing work that is valuable to both myself and the company."

 
Olivia Rosen working alongside Wayra AR Business Manager, Karen Mirkin

Olivia Rosen working alongside Wayra AR Business Manager, Karen Mirkin

Olivia Rosen (Dartmouth College/Wayra AR Intern): "From teams taking hour-long lunch breaks on a regular basis, women wearing bright floral rompers, and each and every coworker giving you a kiss and asking you how you are each day - my experience working at Wayra has quickly taught me so much about what “successful office culture” truly means. Far from the traditional, business casual environment I've come to expect, Wayra preaches creativity, no rules, and above all, strong relationships with those around you. While at first I concluded that such an environment would likely result in a less efficient or effective work ethic, I’ve quickly realized that here there exists different paths and metrics of success that are not at all worse, just different."

 

Dylan Jew (WashU/Auth0 Intern): "Working at Auth0 is at the same time both challenging and inspiring. Whether it involves uptime, security best practices, or thorough testing before pushing changes to production, all the work done here is held to the highest standard. Being in this type of environment makes me want to push myself to learn as much as possible and make the most of my time here."

Dylan Jew going over a new project with his team at Auth0

Dylan Jew going over a new project with his team at Auth0


What are 1-2 traits you think are necessary to do what you're doing (i.e. living abroad AND working at a startup)?

Josh Katlin takes in the gorgeous view during a weekend trip to Cajon Del Maipo, Chile

Josh Katlin takes in the gorgeous view during a weekend trip to Cajon Del Maipo, Chile

Tolerance with adaptability - you can’t let the small things bother you and you need to be able to adapt quickly to thrive in uncomfortable situations.
— Adi Makaram (Rice University, Technorides Intern)
Adi Makaram working on Stanford's d.school Design Thinking course during orientation

Adi Makaram working on Stanford's d.school Design Thinking course during orientation

Flexibility - This one is pretty obvious. Be prepared for anything and learn to adjust - the faster you can adjust, the better. The US Embassy emailed you this morning saying there’s a large protest and public transportation may not be working? Find another way to get to work or work from home. Frequent power outages across the city interrupting your work? Learn to save your work, find something you can do without internet, embrace sweating. Things won’t always go your way, but if you’re flexible you’ll become comfortable with uncertainty and you’ll be able to make the best out of your given situation.

Humility - You’re going to make A LOT of mistakes. Maybe you forgot to take out a customer segment from the analysis or you moved the bombilla when you were passed the mate. I feel terribly stupid when I try to speak Spanish and I worry about how I’m perceived, but without practicing I will never learn. By understanding that you won’t always be right, you’ll be more comfortable asking questions or correcting your mistakes.
— Omead Sinai, (University of Michigan, GoodMeals Intern)
Confidence: You will make A TON of mistakes and be oftentimes VERY confused, but where real growth and progress takes place is when you ask for help, try to rephrase that sentence again, and laugh it off. I think not being embarrassed or afraid of the constant flow of unexpected challenges requires continuously practicing and building confidence - which is much much easier said than done.
— Olivia Rosen (Dartmouth College, Wayra AR Intern)
Intellectual curiosity! It would be easy to get in a nice routine here of going to work, sitting at my computer, and coming home. But having “intellectual curiosity” has made the experience so much better for all of us because we are sure to plan events, hang out with locals that we have met etc. Constantly trying to learn new things and take on new experiences has been a key to making the most of my time here.
— Josh Katlin (UTexas at Austin/GoodPeople Intern)
Open mindedness: Trying new things to broaden your experiences. I think it’s this willingness to try new things that all 7 of us seem to have that will prove to be useful in so many situations throughout our lives. It allows us to gain new perspectives. It allows us to try things that we think we might like. I see it as a win-win type of deal because if you try something new and you like it, you can continue to pursue it as your heart desires. Otherwise, you can say for sure that you tried something different and you were able to deduce that it wasn’t for you.
— Paul An (UC Irvine/Technorides Intern)
Josh Katlin & Sierra Lash pose during a Polo match in Argentina

Josh Katlin & Sierra Lash pose during a Polo match in Argentina


I got to witness the fast and strong bond you created with the other 6 Fellows when I was there leading orientation. What do you think it was/is that makes this cohort so close? 

Sierra Lash (University of Michigan/Wideo Intern): "I say this almost every day, but I can't believe how close our cohort is to one another after such a short amount of time. I think that even though a lot of us are in different places in our lives and in our education, being abroad levels the playing field and brings a vulnerability that none of us could avoid that completely brought us together. Being out of our comfort zones and having to explore a new city with each other made our bonds so much stronger. Additionally, I have to give the credit to Sage Corps because I can't believe how like-minded we all are. Everyone is very smart, driven, passionate, and excited to be here and doing this work, but beyond that, we all get along so well outside the networking events. I think these will be friends I will have for a long time, thanks to Sage Corps."

Josh Katlin (UofTexas at Austin, GoodPeople Intern): Our cohort is so close because we all truly have a passion for seeking out new experiences. We all come from different backgrounds, schools, majors - but we all came to Buenos Aires with the same mindset of being adventurous, putting ourselves out there to meet tons of interesting people, and really immersing ourselves in the culture professionally and socially. It's been amazing because we all have different ideas for activities/travels and it has allowed everyone to open up and experience things that we may not have even considered if it wasn't for others in the cohort expressing interest.

Olivia Rosen (Dartmouth College, Wayra AR Intern): While all of the fellows have different academic focuses, geographic backgrounds, and professional experiences, I think what makes us such a close and cohesive group is our like-mindedness when it comes to taking advantage of our experience in Buenos Aires. All of us want to get the most that we can out of our work, the city around us, and unique opportunities, while also enjoying the relaxed, go-with-the-flow energy of BA. Being driven and ambitious, while up for anything, characterizes our group hangouts – on Saturday we found ourselves talking about venture opportunities in LATAM with some Argentine friends while cheering for horses at a derby we accidentally stumbled upon.

Omead Sinai (University of Michigan, GoodMeal Intern): "I love our group! I don't think it's a coincidence that we all get along though. We ended up here because of our similar interests in startups and traveling along with our rigorous academic backgrounds. Therefore, we relate well with each other. I think the Asado at Juan's house made us all really excited to be here and it was so natural to break the ice. We immediately found similarities like mutual friends, hobbies, or experiences that we could bond over. Day two I already knew I had made a great decision by coming to Buenos Aires and joining and Sage Corps."

(APPLICATION DEADLINE: 3/31)

Comment