Yi (Kevin) He ’21

BusinessHub, Chile

Posing with an advertisement of Invest Hong Kong, a major government agency in Asia that BusinessHub advises.
Posing with an advertisement of Invest Hong Kong, a major government agency in Asia that BusinessHub advises.

For the past eleven weeks, I have been lucky enough to work as a market analyst intern within the excellent team at BusinessHub Consultants, a boutique management consulting firm in Santiago, Chile that helps foreign companies in North America, Asia and Europe enter the markets of Latin American countries (Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia). This experience has helped me refine my market research, communicational, and report-writing skills. Moreover, it has also provided me with a unique insight into the management consulting and international trade fields.

It is difficult to describe my experience at BusinessHub without first providing the details of my daily responsibilities. Initially, a foreign company connects with BusinessHub and explains its specific demands about finding potential importers of its products within the market of a particular Latin American country. Next, based on my client’s products and demands, I conduct extensive market research in order to identify potential business partners in the target market. Usually, I use Google or other online sources/databases to identify 10 to 15 companies with the largest market share in this specific target market. Afterwards, I contact the relevant officials of the Latin American firms, such as general manager and commercial manager, through emails or phone calls in Spanish, in order to understand their interest levels in cooperating with my client. Sometimes, if my client makes special requests, I need to organize face-to-face or remote meetings between the local firms and my clients. If these meetings do manage to take place, I need to take notes about details of each meeting. Lastly, I need to accumulate all the relevant information, including the contact information of each Latin American firm, its interest level, the general market condition, as well as my recommendations about how to succeed in this market; put this all into a full-length market analysis report and present it to my client in North America. It is likely that more than 90% of my work will directly go to my client, though the project manager and the CEO of BusinessHub are going to check these reports before submission. In short, my internship undertakes a large number of responsibilities that require my market research, communication, and report-writing skills. In total, throughout my 11-week period, I helped five clients in transportation, retail, technology, and energy industries enter the Latin American markets; produced six extensive market analysis reports; organized 13 meetings; and identified more than 100 potential business partners in Latin America.

On top of advising my clients as my external projects, I am also in charge of BusinessHub’s monthly newsletters as my internal project for the firm. In general, the monthly newsletters introduce business opportunities and relevant news in a specific Latin American nation and is distributed digitally to more than 4,500 subscribers all over the world. The countries of interest are Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and Other Latin American countries, rotating once a month. To make an edition of monthly newsletters, first I need to read Spanish articles on various newspapers and websites in order to select four articles about business opportunities in the country of interest. Then, I must generalize the idea of each piece of news and translate it into an English article of approximately 200 words. Next, I need to upload the four English articles into an online MailChimp template and find a relevant picture for each article. Furthermore, I need to add a “Words from Our Employee” piece, in which one of the BusinessHub team members writes a commentary about the economic conditions of the country of interest. Finally, to add a little flavor to the newsletter, I find an interesting fact about the Latin American economy online and put it at the end of the template. Throughout my 11-week internship, I have created the June monthly newsletter for Chile and July monthly newsletter for Peru. Moreover, I have also written “Words from Our Employee” for Peru about sustainable growth of the Peruvian secondary and tertiary industries.

In addition to my daily work, other aspects of this internship also provide me further insight into international trade and management consulting. First and foremost, the scale of the China-LatAm trade is eye-opening to me. My colleague Diego told me that China is the largest trading partner of Chile and the Chilean economy would be very vulnerable if China stopped purchasing the Chilean minerals. I am also astounded by the vast amount of knowledge my BusinessHub’s CEO Veronica knows about China’s “One Nation Two Systems” with regard to Chinese economic policies in Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR as well as China’s “One Belt One Strip” economic policy with regard to China’s trade in Africa, Europe, and Asia. I truly believe that in the long run, an enormous amount of future opportunities will emerge between China and Latin America. With regard to management consulting, I learned that the close relation between the team members is vital to the success of the team. Although coming from different countries including the U.S., UK, Canada, Chile, Peru, the Netherlands, South Korea, and China, the BusinessHub team functions well with all the team members always supporting one another.

During the weekdays, the office is usually full of joy, jokes, and positive energy, even though team members are constantly working hard to pursue work of the highest quality. In particular, the more experienced colleagues have taught me background information about doing business in Latin America as well as useful techniques in reaching my goals in negotiation. On the weekends, my colleagues and I often hang out together. For instance, we have played basketball and volleyball, eaten Korean barbeque, attended a soccer game of the University of Chile, visited the Embalse El Yeso, and had a picnic at Veronica’s house. I really appreciate the opportunity to work in and learn from such a talented and fun team and do strongly hope that I am able to find an equally intelligent, hard-working, and supportive team in the future.

On top of working at BusinessHub, I have spent a large amount of time exploring Santiago and understanding the Chilean culture. By visiting the relatively poor neighborhood of La Vega and Estación Central, I felted the issue of high degree of large social inequality in Chile. By observing my Airbnb family and my colleagues, I gained an understanding into how high families are valued in the Chilean culture. By attending the same fitness and dance class with many local Chileans, I felt how much Chileans are enthusiastic about and open to foreign culture. I firmly believe that understanding the people and their culture are crucial for doing business with them, and I am undoubtedly going to aim to do so when engaging in multi-national trade in the future.

Throughout my internship, I worked directly with my project manager Jeremy Yap. His guidance helped me work more efficiently with my clients and produce higher-quality reports. BusinessHub’s CEO Veronica Medina and Business Development Manager Diego Muñoz also provided me various resources including connections with certain firms and advice for my final reports. Also, I would like to thank Petya Metiva ’10 for introducing this opportunity to me and interviewing me during the application process. In addition, I would particularly like to express my gratitude to Mr. Pesikoff ’90, P20 for sponsoring my internship. I would also love to thank the Williams College ’68 Center for Career Exploration for introducing the Handshake platform to me and organizing the extraordinary Alumni Sponsored Internship Program. My amazing experiences in Chile would not be possible without the support from both Williams College and BusinessHub Consultants. Thank you all for providing me this unique, enriching, and life-changing summer.