Thirty students from Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business students accompanied by LeBow faculty and staff visited Chile as part of an International Residency during the week of March 21 to 29. Combining LeBow College’s focus on Global Scope and Experiential Education, the trip was aimed at giving undergraduate students with a concentration in international business a chance to experience doing business abroad up-close. Throughout the week the students engaged in many scholarly and cultural activities ranging from lectures at the top business school in Santiago to learning the traditional Chilean dance, the Cuenca.
The LeBow College students visited the headquarters of Aramark Chile, where they met with the company’s CFO and vice president of operations innovation, and learned about what goes into expanding a corporation into an international market. They also had an opportunity to meet with the Chilean Central Bank’s Director of Financial Policy, Kevin Cowan, who discussed monetary policy and the effects of the financial crisis on the Chilean economy.
The students traveled to Valparaiso, Chile’s largest port city, where they visited CSAV, the shipping company in charge of transporting Chile’s fruit across the globe.
Students also participated in lectures covering Chilean monetary policy, how the economic crisis is playing out in that country, and marketing in Chile at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile MBA - the most prestigious business school in Chile, as well as at the Universidad del Desarollo. The students heard from top experts including renowned economist Professor Rolf Luders, an advisor to Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, and had the opportunity to network with Chilean business students. Student Raj Singh said that hearing Dr. Luders talk about his role in the 1980-81 banking crisis “was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I learned a lot from that lecture.”
The students also had the opportunity to explore Santiago and had some free time for leisure activities, including a visit to the Concha y Toro Winery, Chile’s largest producer and exporter of wine. The group toured the winery’s vineyards and cellars. There was also a night at Palacio Concha, where they learned about and experienced many Chilean traditions such as making pisco sours, dancing the Cuenca and a traditional Chilean dinner. In the evenings, students were free to explore Santiago’s restaurants and nightlife. Popular hot spots included Cerro San Cristobal, a mountain overlooking Santiago that has exceptional views of the skyline; and Bella Vista, an area filled with little restaurants and nightclubs. On their last day in Chile the students had a unique opportunity to visit the mining town Sewell to see Chile’s largest copper mine, El Teniente.
Student Kevin Moy says the trip was a great success. “I never thought I’d experience Latin America the way I did, and I’m glad I did because I learned a lot. Before coming here I didn’t know anything about Chile, but now I know about how the country is run and where it’s going.”