On this day, five years ago, I got my first passport stamp in Chile with Loyola’s MBA program. I spent five nights in Santiago Chile at the Four Points Sheraton, and two nights in Viña del Mar at a beachside resort. The study tour was an amazing opportunity and by far my most memorable takeaway from the MBA program. I am so happy I decided to take the leap and apply to participate in the tour. The Chilean study tour was a combination of two classes, Corporate Social Responsibility under the leadership of Professor Nan Ellis, and International Marketing class under the leadership of Professor Gerard Athaide.
Chile – International Marketing Study Tour
I was a little nervous about the long flight to Chile but so excited to go out of the country for the first time and learn about Chile’s culture. The trip was both work and play, but thankfully most of the work was beforehand. We had a total of 5 class sessions that met on Saturday’s to work as a group on our project and presentation. Each group in the classes was assigned a company to research and share a presentation at their respective company, my group was assigned, Johnson & Johnson. For the International Marketing class, we exclusively visited Johnson & Johnson, Pepsico, General Motors, Telefonica. The remaining visits were combined with the Corporate Social Responsibility class to Codelco, Ignisterra, and Undurraga. One thing that was consistent at every visit was the welcoming feeling from the company and a full spread of refreshments. If I had to pick my top favorite visits they would have to be Frito-Lay, (I mean, how often do you taste a potato chip fresh off the press?) and Undurraga (the wine helped make that decision).
Work Hard, Play Harder
As I mentioned, the core work was completed before heading to Chile. So, besides the company visits, there was a lot of downtime for cultural immersion and I took full advantage of it. Before heading to Chile I volunteered to reach out to the travel agent, Arianna, to plan our the events. She worked with previous Loyola MBA Chile tours and had wonderful recommendations and helped coordinate everything.
- a bike tour of Santiago
- tour of Pablo Neruda’s home in Isla Negra
- dipping my toes in the (cold) Pacific Ocean
- experiencing traditional Chilean cuisine in Pomaire (empanadas and Pisco Sours)
- dinner and a dance show of Chilean folklore and culture
- touring the vineyards of the winery at a site visit
- mixing and corking my own red blend (I have yet to try)
- shopping and dining in Valparaiso, and enjoying every sip of Chilean wine.