Intern Spotlight with Camilo Arias

Where are you from?

I was born in Pereira, Colombia, and raised in Los Angeles, California.

What to you aspire to accomplish in the future?

I am currently studying Finance at Menlo College with that, my goal is to focus in the industry of Import and Exporting. Throughout my life, I have been a part of numerous projects that deal with international business and communications which has opened my interest towards this industry. With time and experience I would then like to become a broker and open my own Import and export company.

How did you hear about Manos Accelerator?

I heard about Manos Accelerator from past Manos Interns and Menlo College Alumni. Because of their great experiences, I became interested in the opportunity and personally reached out to Sylvia. Sylvia informed me of the business and the positive impact that Manos has on the Latin community and offered me the opportunity in being a Manos Accelerator Intern.

What was your role at Manos?

Because I have the privilege of being bilingual, I have had the opportunity with staying in contact with multiple startups from various parts of Latin America. My role at Manos Accelerator was requirement manager for future startups to participate in the in-depth Manos Accelerator program. With Sylvia as my mentor, I expanded my ability to communicate with individuals from different countries and further the Manos Accelerator Network.

How has Manos helped you grow personally and professionally?

The main attributes that I have noticed in myself that have grown from my experience at Manos is being able to/how to communicate with individuals from different countries and cultures. In the professional business environment, I have learned to listen and allow myself to be guided by Mentors, Angel Investors, and future business leaders from the Latin Community. Outside of growing professionally, personally I have learned how to conduct myself in an office environment and withstand the fast pace workforce.

What did you take away from your experience at Manos?

If your second guessing yourself, just simply ask. As a new intern, I was able to learn about the terms and procedures that it takes to run a successful company and grow its cliental. The overall environment at Manos was very helpful and it taught me how to get important tasks done in a timely matter.

How has your internship with Manos prepared you for a future career?
I feel comfortable walking in to a new company getting to know everyone one and getting the job done. I have been able to improve my communication and writing skills in Spanish itself while learning the ins and outs of different Latin American cultures. My confidence as future business leader has risen and my ability to apply my skills has improved.

What was one thing that you were exposed to at Manos that you would not have experienced anywhere else?
One of the major experiences I received being an Intern at Manos was working with the various number of startups, mentors, and angel investors around the world. The fact that I would walk in on a Monday and have a conference call with a startup from Colombia and an hour later have another conference call with a startup from Uruguay was excellent. Another key experience was being able to attend multiple events around the bay area and expand my own personal network.

Share a memorable experience at Manos?
It’s hard to choose, but one of my most memorable moments was when my co-workers and I decided to all go out to a San Jose Earthquakes match. That allowed us to truly get to know each other as individuals and not only as co-workers.

How did you change during your internship from your first day to your last day?
I become more confident with my Spanish and sales techniques. This internship was not only fun, but humbling in the way that I was able to learn from so many bright minds.

What was your favorite part about being an intern?
I really enjoyed working with so many different personalities and experts. I was able to learn and apply my skills throughout different projects and I absolutely loved being able to attend so many events.

Describe your relationship with your bosses and the startups?
My relationship with Sylvia was amazing. She helped me throughout different occasions and she was also very welcoming. Although there was that separation of Boss and employee, she made me feel very comfortable and at home. My relationship with the startups was outstanding. Because I am Latino, I was able to connect with them and create new relationships.

Where are you now? What are you doing now?
Currently I am finishing my last year at Menlo College, and planning on going overseas and furthering my knowledge in the industry of Importing and Exporting.