It has been just over three months since I found out that due to my involvement in the Rio+20 debates I will be traveling to Sao Paulo to spend a week at Brazil’s leading PR firm, Linhas Comunicação. This is possible thanks to generous support from Newcastle Business School.
The excitement of going to Brazil has kept me going through my final year exams that I have recently completed. Over the last few months I have often found myself on Google street maps trying to imagine what Sao Paulo will actually be like. I have also been reading up on my lonely planet to ensure I have an understanding of the Brazilian culture. Since finishing my studies last week organising the more practical aspects of going away has taken priority and my excitement is building.
This day next week (Monday 25 June) will be my first day in the Linhas Comunicação office. In the past, when I have started work experience I have been very nervous before the first day. I can imagine that I will experience nerves even more this time since I will be in Brazil and everything will be new. My task for this week is to try and learn some basic Portuguese terms – hello, thank you, please and how to pronounce the name of the company! However, even at that I worry I’m being ambitious as I am by no means a natural linguist. Last summer I spent three weeks in Cambodia volunteering and even in the last few days my attempts to greet locals in Khmer were met with laughter. I am still determined to try at least!
Next week I will be visiting some of Linhas Comunicação clients. I am looking forward to gaining an insight into how a large international PR company operates and I think there will be a lot to learn! I will be blogging next week about how I am getting on and I hope to report that I have been able to learn at least some Portuguese!
Henrietta (Etta) Smylie