From 25°C to 25°F

Looking out my window at a grey, snowy Morningside Heights, it seems hard to believe that just a few days ago I was still in bright, sunny Santiago.  Our trip was exhausting, amazing and surprising all at the same time.  Though our packed days of programming would wear out even the most seasoned business traveler, we were all so fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore this country and meet with a few of the businesses that have made it a success.  We learned about the specific developments in the Chilean economy, we learned about the general challenges faced by markets shifting from an industrial to knowledge-based economy, and we got to know our peers better.  Since you have heard a great deal from me about my thoughts on the program as well as our meetings during the week, I’d like to use my last blog post as a chance to share the thoughts of my classmates from the program.  Their perspectives, questions and commentary added so much to my experience in Chile!

“The fact that we were able to look behind the scenes and communicate with the highest levels of management of interesting companies was very valuable. I think Chazen organized everything very well, and most compliments goes to Carmen Concha [program teaching assistant] who has been able to pull off this huge effort without a hitch. It was surely one of my CBS highlights.”

–          Chayenne Wiskerke, CBS Class of 2013

 

The group enjoying the private winery tour on the last day of our trip
The group enjoying the private tour  at Amayna Winery on the last day of our trip

“I thought the trip was a huge success. It was quite a learning experience to hear from executives in some of Chile’s largest businesses about their growth strategies in Latin America’s most stable economy. I was also impressed by how much I learned from my classmates. Sixteen different countries were represented on the trip, and it was great to compare notes about the different cultures. Carmen, our TA, Professor Preston, and Katrina from Chazen all did an amazing job at putting this trip together.”

–          Adam Breitman, CBS Class of 2013

Very patriotic shot at the Mercado Central
Very patriotic shot at the Mercado Central

“The trip was a fabulous opportunity to learn about the Chilean economy as well as successful business models in South America. The speakers were very inspiring and the factory visits were particularly interesting. Also, it was great to meet so many new classmates.”

–          Anne Kronschnabl, CBS Class of 2014

Getting a tour of the pasta production facilities at the Carozzi factory
Getting a tour of the pasta production facilities at the Carozzi factory

Chile stands out as an economy and a country destined to be a leader in Latin America and possibly on the global stage. The sheer determination of its immigrant-infused population has really made a huge difference in the country and the region. Similarities can be easily drawn between Chile and the US during its growth post-World War II.  Chilean government is a great player in this regard, providing the appropriate working environment and facilitating the impressive level of growth and prosperity.  I am certain that, as Chile transforms more of its working class from poverty to middle class, new challenges await. It will be interesting to see how Chile grows over the next 30 years.”

–          Varghese Mathew, CBS Class of 2013

Though I mentioned it time and again in this blog, Chile has impressed me in so many ways.  This country has been through many difficult times and only recently re-joined the democratic world as it continues on its path toward development.  Over those past two decades- relatively little time when talking about the development of a country- Chile has become one of the leaders in the world in terms of economic growth and has truly created a development model worth of emulation by any country seeking to boost economic growth and the living standards of their citizens. The eagerness of everyone we met with to help us learn more about this amazing market was key to making this a very memorable and informative trip for all of us.

Hasta pronto,

Hannah Stern ‘13

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