Trainee Story from Chile



More than halfway into her international trainee placement with Yapo.cl, Kathrine Opshaug Bakke shares her experiences from fascinating Chile.

About Kathrine:
Kathrine Opshaug Bakke (28) is from Norway. Before joining the Schibsted Management Trainee Program she studied and worked in Germany and Portugal. She holds a Master in Intercultural Communication Studies, and has also studied European Studies and International Business Administration. The position as Product Analyst at Yapo.cl is her third trainee placement, before that she was at Webtraffic Sweden and Aftenposten in Norway. Kathrine speaks five languages and with a past as a travel blogger she loves to document her trips, bringing her camera with her everywhere she goes.

Kathrine's trainee story from Chile:

"Before going to Chile my main associations with the country were the spectacular mine rescue operation a few years ago, in addition to earthquakes, student protests and a troubled political past. But after four months in the capital, Santiago de Chile, this country is definitely about a lot more than shaking news.

In contrast to the reputation other Southern American cities have for being unsafe, Santiago is considered one of the safest places in this part of the world. I have no problems walking around in the evenings alone in the area where I live, with the normal precaution I would have in any big city.

After three months in Santiago I would say that is a city filled with contrasts. You'll find everything from the tallest skyscraper in South America, mountains and nature, chaotic marketplaces, poorer areas, newly built mega-malls to trendy areas filled with art and design. The area where Yapo's office is located has gotten the nickname "Sanhattan" due to its density of skyscrapers and office buildings. Actually, we're soon moving into a larger office to accommodate our growing team. For foodies, you'll be pleased to know that almost everything you eat comes with avocado, and that the best cuisine in South America, the Peruvian, is very present in Santiago. There are frequently small earthquakes here, but the city is well prepared and all newer buildings are earthquake-proof.

Santiago is also a great starting point for weekend trips to the nearby coastal cities and wild Chilean nature. The society here still struggles with some issues, especially concerning the quality of public services and expensive education, but it seems to slowly be changing one step at a time.

One of the things that surprised me the most when arriving in Chile was how organized things were here compared to other places I've been in Latin America. I've heard it been described as the Germany of South America, and having spent five years in Berlin before becoming a management trainee I would dare vouch for that one. The average Chilean does not speak that much English, so some basic Spanish skills would come in handy if you're considering visiting.

Since I started in the product team at Yapo.cl four months ago, our core team has grown by five people and another 40 reviewers, but we still manage to keep that "start-up feeling". It's a very cool experience to be a part of a page that is developing new products and growing at such a fast pace. In my daily work at Yapo.cl I work with preparing and improving features and functionalities for web and mobile together with the rest of the product team, UX designer and our developers using the SCRUM methodology.

Thanks to our product manager giving me a lot of responsibility in helping to make Yapo.cl the best marketplace in Chile, I've discovered that I have a true passion for product development. We're currently focusing on developing monetization features for the site as we're ahead of the normal growth curve for SCM sites. To beat our competitors we have to be a bit better and more innovative - all the time. The experience of working with the welcoming, competent and simply awesome team here at Yapo.cl has been even better than I expected, and I would highly recommend it to others."

Published: 1/29/2014 11:31 AM
Last updated: 1/29/2014 11:37 AM