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Part 1: GLP International Symposium to Brazil

Hey there my GLP brethren,

I’ve no doubt that most of you have seen the emails advertising this year’s GLP symposium to Brazil. I’m excited to let you know that the symposium is underway and a group of 11 students from Mac are currently in Sao Paulo, under the guidance of our fearless leader Chloë Spackman. We have just completed our first day of formal activities that began with breakfast at our hotel at 7:15am and has just wrapped up at 11pm.

This morning we travelled about 40 mins outside Sao Paulo to visit Natura, one of the largest cosmetic companies in the South America, although it’s possible you haven’t heard of it before as it doesn’t sell its products in Australia. The easiest way to describe the ethos of the company is to think if Google owned and ran a cosmetics company in Brazil. The welfare of the workers is well looked after with childcare and medical facilities onsite. It is a company that the residents of Sao Paulo wish to work for, a recent advertisement for 100 positions saw 65,000 people apply. The company also managed to sell 303 million products last year without a single store in Brazil. The products are all sold through consultants or ‘reps’ with a strong emphasis on relationships with their consumers. And this is all before I start on their commitment to a series of environmental and social goals, needless to say I was impressed, if you want to find out more, you’ll have to come along next year.

We then came back into Sao Paulo for lunch before attending a couple lectures at EPSM, an exceptionally well reputed business school here in Sao Paulo. We had the opportunity to learn about Brazilian culture and Brazil’s growing role in international politics.

We were then given a tour of EPSM’s Junior Enterprise program offices. It’s an incredibly impressive student-run business that employs undergraduate students to complete project work for Sao Paulo businesses. We heard about a group of students working on a project to create an online store for a wine distributor and heard that these students would see this task from conception to completion- a fantastic model for internships and workplace experience.

You might be thinking that this qualifies as a full day of activities but not on a GLP trip. We had a brief moment of respite in the form of dinner, which gave us the necessary fuel to power throw the still present jet-lag of a 13 hour time difference. After said meal, we filed duly back into our van to head to aptly named Unique Hotel in the centre of the city. We enjoyed a quiet beverage in the lobby bar before heading upstairs to enjoy the view of Sao Paulo atop the sky bar. I will let the photo do justice to the stunning décor (check out the chair) of the hotel that my words simply could not.

I hope to keep you as up to date with our activities as possible but I also know that tomorrow we will set off for a walking tour at 8am and our last activity, a football match, commences at 10pm so it may be a couple of days.

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