Camille Endo and Andrea Gamarra, both students in their last and penultimate year of Economics and International Business at Universidad del Pacífico (UP), respectively, completed their pre-professional internships in the Corporate Affairs area of Grupo Empresarial Villanueva y TMT, a company dedicated to providing services to the mining and energy industry in southern Peru. Among its clients are Southern Peru, ENGIE, Anglo American, Consorcio Belfi Cosapi, among others.
Both learned about the internship opportunity at the company thanks to the information provided by Humberto Villanueva, who heads the Corporate Affairs area and is also a UP graduate.
As part of the internship, Andrea and Camille participated as mentors of two projects from the Centro de Formación Agropecuaria de Moquegua (CFAM) that participated in the TEC Challenge of the Adelante Program, an initiative promoted by Anglo American through the International Youth Foundation and the Anglo American Foundation.
The TEC Challenge is a methodological proposal inspired by Project Based Learning, PBL, and designed to support young students, preferably in technical-professional education, in their preparation for the world of work, the development of ventures and/or the continuation of their studies.
n this edition, the UP students conducted the mentoring of two projects:
• Misky Manjar: This is a proposal that uses whey, a residue from cheese production, which is usually disposed of in rivers, generating pollution. Misky Manjar takes advantage of this "waste" and gives it added value, initiating a circular economy and providing additional income to Moquegua's cheese factories. In addition, it offers a healthy option of "manjar blanco" at an affordable price for entrepreneurs and families in the region.
• Nutrikal: An initiative that uses the nopal cactus from the San Cristobal district to produce a probiotic yogurt, which helps to improve the eating habits of all the inhabitants of the region. It also helps farmers to receive extra income from nopal crops, which are often discarded.
n both projects, the prototypes were launched and will soon be launched in the southern Peruvian market.
Among the lessons learned during their experience Camille and Andrea highlighted the opportunity they had to learn about technical terms and necessary concepts on sustainability of enterprises in the agricultural sector. “Meeting with the guys was challenging, not only because of the virtuality and having to communicate through a screen, but because of the schedules since our meetings used to be very late. We were also able to realize that while there is talent, there are not enough opportunities, and it is up to us to start changing that," they stressed.
Likewise, they emphasized the importance of carrying out internships in different parts of the country, since, in their opinion, it brings students closer to different realities and allows them to learn first-hand about the situations in other regions of Peru in economic, social and political terms. "It's not enough to remain eager to change things, but to find ways to do it. It is possible to have a positive impact through professional internships, mainly through internships in the provinces", they remarked.
As for her future plans, Andrea said that she would like to have her own company to showcase many of the potentials we have in Peru and, at the same time, to help communities and producers' associations to have a better income and thus contribute to their quality of life.
On the other hand, Camille confessed that she has not yet decided what line her career will take, but she has it clear that she wants to have a purpose to contribute to the development of our country.
Both are still committed to the ventures they mentored and hope that soon they will be able to sell their products outside the Moquegua region.