Having lived in Mexico, Panama and the United States was no preparation to the complexity of life that awaited me in Sao Paulo, Brazil. My freshman year abruptly came to a close, and not more than 2 weeks had passed when I found myself sitting in a plane going to a foreign country with a foreign language, trying to immerge myself in a foreign culture. Sao Paulo, being Brazil’s largest city, is buzzing with life. The Sunday I arrived, the city welcomed me with the LGBT community protesting for their rights in the streets bordering where my apartment was located. I was very excited and nervous as I met Joshua Kempf, the CEO of Gaveteiro and Notre Dame alumn, who lead me to the apartment that would become my home for the next 7 weeks.
Acting as the middleman between retailers and manufacturers, Gaveteiro has positioned itself in Brazil’s industrial business offering over 7,000 products to their clients. Given that I just declared my major to be Chemical Engineering, I was placed in the Technology Department and my first project has been to create an algorithm in Rodeo (an IDE for Python) that can be uploaded to the new Gaveteiro website. The code compares all the orders of each client, and is able to provide product substitutes based on the brand. In this way, the website will be able to include possible suggestions clients can choose from in the case their specific product is not available at the moment.
Learning Rodeo has been tough, however, it wasn’t just work that was challenging, but also the additional day-to-day activities that come along with it. The first week was without a doubt the hardest. The two other girls who would be interning with me (Catarina who is also an ND student and Veronica who is from UM) would not arrive until later and I had to embrace living alone for some time. Buying house supplies, going grocery shopping, getting cellular data, figuring out transportation systems (all tagged along with a language barrier) was an enigma I had to quickly decipher. Once Catarina arrived to the apartment, although there was still a lot to figure out, it was a whole different experience. On the weekend we were able to visit one of Brazil’s major avenues called Avenida Paulista as well as go into the MASP (The Art Museum of Sao Paulo). We have also been able to try Brazilian gastronomy indulging in brigadeiros and eating at very well-known restaurants.
Jilian Michaels once said, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” I was put and still am in a position out of my comfort zone yet adapting more and more as the days go by. And it is in this way that, thanks to SIBC, that so far these two weeks have been challenging yet eye-opening.
Maria Veronica Marquez
Logo and Entrance to the Company
Visit to the MASP
Walking around Avenida Paulista