Brasil, qual é teu negócio/o nome do teu sócio/confia em mim
October 19, 2007 5:17 AM   Subscribe

Despite the recent corruption scandals in Brazil, for the first time since the 1970s, the country is finally showing signs that it is worthy of comparison with its BRIC counterparts. Inflation, the bane of the 1990s, has finally been largely reigned under control, interest rates have fallen to their lowest in living memory, the Brazilian Real continues to rise against the US dollar and BOVESPA - Latin America's largest and busiest stock exchange - continues to grow from strength to strength.

How do I, a 23-year-old Brit with extensive experience of living and studying in Brazil, fluent (verging on native) command of the language and a knowledge and understanding of the subtleties of Brazilian culture which never seems to seize to amaze my Brazilian friends, get involved in this exciting new arena?

I'm currently completing a Masters in International Business at a French business school rated amongst the top ten in Europe by the Financial Times, and asides from speaking Portuguese, I also speak Spanish and French. The time has come to seek out an internship - or, even better, perhaps - a job for next year. Ideally, I'd like to work for a British or European company with extensive interests in Brazil and I am certain that, with my credentials, I would be an asset to any employer.

What I want to know, Mefites, is what is the best way for me to realise this dream? Details of relevant companies appreciated greatly. I'm interested in all sectors of business and banking but, in particular, the energy sector, import/export and marketing.

Best of all is if I could, somehow, make some contacts!
posted by Zé Pequeno to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should add that I have extensive contacts in Brazil, but all of them are either involved in their own business ventures or they have stable, high-paying jobs in the public sector - despite its advances, Brazilians are still far too in love with the idea of Big Government and cushy government jobs. Working in the private sector, at least for a Brazilian, just doesn't pay enough...
posted by Zé Pequeno at 5:27 AM on October 19, 2007

Best answer: Two thoughts (which grew into 5):
1) Here's one French company that specifically hires Master's grads for a program with immediate overseas assignments, including in Brazil, that you might look into; definitely involves business positions, clients in all industries (including energy).
2) Have you looked at some of the Brazilian banks, actually? I've been really impressed with everyone I have met through Bradesco. It is Brazil's largest private bank, and Brazil is the only country in South America with a domestic bank as their biggest private. Bradesco has some interesting models as far as marketing and banking, too, since they cater to many rural and poor parts of Brazil.
3) What do you look for in a job? Are you interested at all in microfinance or anything like that, as a way to get your hands dirty with the banking and the marketing and everything all at once? There is in particular a pretty awesome microfinance group (Vivacredi?) working out of Rocinha and ~30 other big neighboorhoods in Rio.
4) When I was looking to get overseas, I did quite a lot of research on what companies I could easily apply for (i.e. connections, visas) were expanding in the places that I wanted to work.
5) Your cushy government friends and entrepreneurs are still useful! Statistically* it isn't the guy you talk to first who has the open job, it's the guy he knows. So the question isn't just who you know, it's who the people you know know, you know?

*According to MIT Career Center survey of alumni a couple years ago
posted by whatzit at 6:19 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Brilliant response, whatzit; definitely a few lines of inquiry that I shall be following up on. Would you mind if we established a dialogue through e-mail? I shan't take up too much of your time, I promise.
posted by Zé Pequeno at 6:31 AM on October 19, 2007

Google "Brazil Mutual Fund" or "Brazil Investment Bank" or scan through Morningstar and you'll find a list of funds and banks that invest in Brazil. Research the ones that have significant holdings or interest or that otherwise appeal to you and contact people there with well-written queries about the opportunities for someone with your skills. Quasi-governmental lenders like EIB are likely to have internship programs that are relatively easy to get into.

But no (or not much) snark intended - shouldn't you be smart and well-educated and well-connected enough to figure that out on your own?
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 6:36 AM on October 19, 2007

Claro que sim. That's why it's in my profile ;-) I neglected to mention that I do actually have contacts with all of the entities I mentioned above, but may have to do some digging for some of them (I did two major moves since May and have not fully recovered).
posted by whatzit at 6:38 AM on October 19, 2007

Response by poster: RandlePatrickMcMurphy:

Thanks for the info. My apologies if my post sounded boastful to you, or anything like that - it certainly wasn't my intention. Of course I know how to Google the obvious channels, but my purpose in asking Metafilter was to find out some specific recommendations, which is, surely, all part of the research process, no? Websites and newspaper articles can only tell me so much, personal anecdotes are much more insightful.
posted by Zé Pequeno at 6:54 AM on October 19, 2007

I suggest getting involved with the sugan cane ethanol industry in Brazil, check out Petrobras (PBR), a reputable source (Dad) tells me they have the most technology for and largest supply of sugar cane ethanol in the world. You could specialize in researching sugar cane ethanol at an Investment Bank, or you could intern directly with the company. Sugar cane ehtanol has real potential (like Plastics!). And, it's way better work than helping us all burn more oil.
posted by Eringatang at 8:49 AM on October 19, 2007

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