MxAA Stipend Recipient, Natalie ’13 Lights It Up At Soulfire Media Consultants

Natalie ‘13 reports on her 2015 summer experience.

When I got off the plane in Buenos Aires this past summer, I was alone in a completely foreign country, without family or friends. My two month adventure in Argentina was about to begin, but I didn’t know what to expect.

The company I had decided to work at was called SoulFire, a digital communication agency that specializes in web development and marketing. Since it was fairly small and still growing, I got to work closely with people from both design and communications teams. For example, on my first day, I was put into a brainstorming meeting for a new project that was launching even though I was not part of the design team. And despite my lack of experience in design, I was asked to share my ideas, communicate them and eventually present them in Spanish during meetings with the client.

In terms of my official position as a communications intern, I learned how to effectively convey specific messages using different marketing strategies. I worked with various companies; from a home service start-up in Miami to a real estate company based in Uruguay, and came up with ways to market them. Every day I felt that I had learned something new, either by completing project assignments myself or by watching other team members; as a result, throughout the summer I learned some basic coding, WordPress, design web hosting, Photoshop and Illustrator. Even though I may not necessarily use all of these skills in my immediate future career, I have no doubt that they will be useful at some point in my life.

However, perhaps some of the most special memories of my summer experience were those outside of the office. Since I did not have any connections in Buenos Aires I reached out to many people when I got here, and a diverse group of people I met brought special experiences that I will never forget. For example a group of people and I helped raise money for San Rafael Foundation in Paraguay through crowd funding, and saw the Pope’s surprise visit to the foundation on the news a few weeks later; I volunteered at an orphanage to help kids after school with homework, such as on Argentina’s’ geographical difference for 5th grade social studies; I made friends with a few Argentines who invited me to their dinner parties, took me to comedy shows, and explained the underlying economic and political problems that Argentina is facing. I felt that I was able to get the most out of my experience in Argentina both intellectually and culturally by doing things I would not have had the chance to do as a tourist. And by the time I left, I was not empty-handed; I was leaving behind so many valuable friendship, memories and stories.

Reflecting on the entire process, I cannot thank the Mx Alumni Association enough for its help and support.