In an Insper webinar, alumni Fernando Caligaris and Jorge Botrel shared their experiences abroad and tips on the business environment outside Brazil
What are the paths and how should a professional prepare to look for work opportunities outside Brazil? Based on this questions, on June 14 Insper held the webinar “Challenges of International Career Building”.
The event had as guests Insper alumni Fernando Caligaris, CEO of footwear company Arezzo&Co’s international division, and Jorge Botrel, managing partner of consulting firms KC&D and JBJ Partners (in the United States). Ana Paula Fraga, Coordinator of Insper’s International Relations area, and Insper professor Timothy Altaffer were the discussion moderators.
Opportunities for professionals to go international were explored, and the role of a business school in this strategy was discussed.
One of the primary challenges reported by the meeting’s participants was the need to establish new contact networks from scratch in another country. Both already had careers in Brazil and, upon emigrating, they had the need to look for ways to meet other professionals within the new context.
A graduate from Insper’s MBA in Finance Class of 2007, Botrel started planning his migration process and building a career abroad two years before moving to the United States, where he lived for four years. He currently lives in Portugal, following his company’s expansion into the European market.
From a career viewpoint, Botrel had needed to rebuild his professional network from scratch. Therefore, he sought from the start to engage in events and meetings in the country where he went to live, especially by joining a chamber of commerce that made it possible to meet local businessmen. “Moving abroad is a total reset in your career, and you need more than ever to roll up your sleeves and go for it,” he says.
Caligaris, who graduated in Business Administration at Insper in 2010, reinforced in his speech that one needs to maximize possibilities and paths to kick-start an international career.
Currently living in New York, he says that his career began in Brazil, where he had worked in the financial market. The chance to emigrate came after the opportunity to participate in Arezzo’s IPO. The experience had opened doors for him to be assigned to head the company’s international project in the United States.
During his undergraduate studies, Caligaris attended an exchange program in Italy – an opportunity guaranteed by an Insper partnership. For him, seeking study experiences that can enrich the international curriculum helps those who want to emigrate. “If that’s your dream, you should look for the best opportunities for your talent. Also, it’s important to work hard and speak the language very well to communicate,” says the alumnus.
Opportunities for Brazilians
The two guests also pointed out that the Brazilian presence abroad has grown and there is room for skilled labor in different segments. Caligaris says, for instance, that he was surprised by the room for Brazilian digital marketing abroad. “During the pandemic, our company tripled its e-commerce operation. Much of that was done using mixed labor with both Americans and Brazilians.”
Besides, during the pandemic, several companies have taken advantage of the foreign exchange situation to contract skilled workers in Brazil. At first, they are working remotely, but can scale up to a local (or international?) position in the future. “We are living in a work-from-home world. So, the opportunity for an international experience is even closer. Looking for these new opportunities can be a good starting point,” says Botrel.
Both in Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, Insper has sought to offer its students opportunities to experience the international work environment. “Even during the pandemic, we have been offering students the possibility to do virtual internships. They are remote work experiences at foreign companies that enable interesting exchanges within multicultural teams,” says Ana Paula.
International Executive MBA
Insper offers the International Executive MBA, which seeks to develop skills for executives in a global context. The course curriculum combines theoretical understanding with practical experience and skill development. It provides short-term intensive programs abroad and experiences with foreign students and professors here in Brazil.
Watch the full webinar here (in portuguese):