What are you?
Here in Chile, that’s the first question I get. ¿Qué eres? Expected answers: engineer, journalist, lawyer, or some other locally-credentialed professional. My story is a bit more complicated.
Here’s my profile on LinkedIn. Let’s connect there.
But I think the more important question might be:
Why do I do what I do?
I do what I do because I believe we have more options than we can see.
I do what I do because building a global life is scary and confusing and exhilarating and fulfilling, all at the same time.
Living entrepreneurially – and connecting people and places and professions all at once – is what I do.
I write this blog to share what I’m seeing and learning, but more than that, I want to explore and inspire and connect.
Whether you’re a student thinking of working abroad, or a teacher looking for something new, or a traveler daydreaming of your next adventure, or a global citizen looking to connect with like-minded people (in China or Chile or wherever else your curiosity beckons you), I want this site to be a home for you.
And welcome! I’m glad you’re here.
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You can also find me in these places.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Maybe you’re asking, “Leslie, where did you go to college? What do you actually do for a living? I was expecting to read all that on this page….” Yes. Read on.
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Latin American Studies, I took the most obvious step: I moved to China to teach English at a university near Shanghai.
For four of the next five years, I gained experience in many industries, including advertising, consulting, corporate social responsibility, and education — all while learning Chinese.
I consulted for well-known brands — including Anglo-American, Bayer, Lenovo, and Suzlon Energy — and worked alongside entrepreneurs exploring China’s vast but challenging market.
In mid-2011, I was ready to pursue my interest in Latin America again, and a great opportunity arose: an invitation to join a solar energy startup that was selected for Start-Up Chile, a government-sponsored entrepreneurship program.
Though I grew up in the heart of Silicon Valley, I’d never been directly involved with the startup scene. Start-Up Chile gave me the opportunity to share my experiences and ideas at events all over the country, including at the Viña del Mar Meetup, World Entrepreneurship Day Iquique, INACAP La Serena, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, and more.
Over the course of these events, I re-discovered my enthusiasm for the classroom, and signed up for a postgraduate course, Diplomado en Creatividad e Innovación in the design school of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. At the same time, I designed and delivered a Social Entrepreneurship course at Universidad del Desarrollo.
These days, my work falls into three broad categories:
1) University Teaching.
I teach two courses (Social Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship & Leadership) at a private university in Santiago, Chile.
2) Global Training, Native Translation, Presentation Co-Creation.
— Global Training —
I design and deliver training sessions for academic and corporate audiences. Topics include:
- Business Model Canvas
- How to Create More Effective Presentations
- Silicon Valley’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
— Native Translation —
I serve as a bridge, creating meaning for both sides of a cultural divide. I translate technical and policy reports from Spanish to English and provide consecutive Spanish-English interpretation for events.
— Presentation Co-Creation —
I coach entrepreneurs on high-stakes presentations. These are often in a second or third language, and involve written applications, pitch decks and in-person presentations. We work together to structure the business story in a way that highlights the entrepreneur’s experience, strengths, traction, and potential for growth.
Clients include: Intelligent Eco Solutions, LinceLabs, Ministry of Economy, UnoCrea Limitada.
3) Creating Resources for Global Citizens.
I’m so grateful to all of the people who have provided guidance, mentoring, and reassurance throughout the years I’ve been living and working far from home. I’m in the process of creating the International Career Compass, a visual tool to help global citizens considering a similar path.
So yes, I’ve been all over the the map — in more ways than one. I look forward to learning more about you and how we might be able to collaborate.
You can also find me in these places.