Lisa Lovallo is a member of Lauder’s Class of 2013 (Portuguese) and came to Lauder and Wharton in May 2011 with the objective of starting a business. Here is her story:
During pre-term, I founded Hemishare, an international recruiting service placing young professionals from the US in exciting startup and tech careers in Brazil, then expanding to the rest of Latin America. Hemishare was directly borne out of my Lauder summer immersion in Brazil during June and July where my eight fellow Portuguese track mates and I heard from dozens of companies large and small about their dire need for talent in the face of Brazil’s booming economy. The more I learned about the lack of qualified talent in Brazil (main findings published in my team’s Knowledge@Wharton article) and the willingness of cash-rich companies to pay to get that talent from anywhere, the more promising a business opportunity I saw.
Though the company has pivoted several times – from an original focus on large engineering firms with a need for thousands of engineers to a niche focus on startups, ecommerce firms and tech companies – the Lauder and Wharton communities have been extremely helpful at every step along the way. Here are the ways that has happened:
- Acceptance into the Wharton Venture Initiation Program incubator and continued membership for the maximum 5 semesters
- Lauder and Wharton connections in Brazil for networking – ie, Baby.com.br (Davis Smith, Lauder Class of 2011)
- Business Plan Competition – made it to the semi-finals and received great feedback from judges who were interested in Brazil
- I speak Portuguese almost every day via skype and phone calls with my Brazilian partner, clients, strategic partners, and in Lauder Portuguese class
- I spent 6 weeks in Brazil last summer (2012) working on Hemishare on-site (and the rest of the summer working remotely on it)
- I get to present advancements for Hemishare in my Lauder Portuguese class
- I studied Brazilian migration history in depth via a Lauder elective class the School of Arts and Sciences on International Migration
- My summer immersion director connected me with recruits she knows from teaching
- My Lauder classmates consistently make referrals of potential clients and recruits
Read more about Lisa’s story here.
Next up in this series is Tom Baldwin from the Class of 2013!