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Krannert Summer Intern - Meet Kanako

Kanako Tone
Market Research and Business Development Master's Student in Chile while on Internship
Santiago, Chile

I worked at, a start-up in Chile, providing software solutions aimed at reducing time and cost in recruiting/job search processes from both job seekers and job providers perspective. My initial objectives were to implement strategic management knowledge in a start-up venture while utilizing knowledge of organizational behavior and human resources management. After three and half months, not only did I successfully achieved initial objectives, but I have also engaged in broader areas of management such as product development.

I delivered numerous outcomes to this enterprise. I worked on a multi-platform social media campaign which led to double the brand interaction, and our Outbound marketing campaign plan has been implemented now to bring in more customers. While working on these marketing campaigns, I have also engaged in market research projects, which enables us to see future market in Asia, which none of existing members had expertise. My overall experience was meaningful! I had neither worked in Latin American countries nor start-ups. I enjoyed the life in Chile and my work at I found that I have a strong interest in working in fast-paced environment in a flat organization.

Picture of city of ChileSince I received the offer at the very end of the fourth module, I did not have much time to get prepared. I prepared for this internship by:

1. Learning Spanish by myself (though, the common language in workplace was English.
2. Starting some tasks which could be performed remotely
3. Making a list of questions regarding their product and business strategy

Even in the short period of time, my preparation allowed me have good start. (except for Spanish, because it takes much longer time to master.

I was surprised how the flat organization allowed us to have open discussions to drive business. My supervisor, the CEO of the start-up, encouraged us to speak with him any time and we were empowered to quickly make decisions and change directions if needed. I was also surprised by the flexibility of my work schedule. A member in our team was engaged in our project with half of his time remaining, and used the other half for his own start-up project. They do not focus on how many hours an employees spend in the office, but rather focus on outcome. It was very surprising and interesting for me since I have only worked in a structured and closely-controlled company.Picture of City of Chile

I would definitely recommend that everyone should work for a start-up at least once. You can use anything you learned in classes and from your previous experience. There is no limit or constraint on you to use your expertise and the experience would help you be a more well-rounded business leader. From my internship, I have been able to build a relationship with the University of Chile for a Krannert 1-week study abroad program.

Boiler Up!

Second-Year MBA Student