Countdown to Argentina!

Ariel Williams ’16 – Argentina

Happy New Year Everyone! I’ve finally made it to 2016 (which is awesome) but, more importantly, I’m excited that I’m less than TWO days from the start of my study tour of Buenos Aires and Mendoza, Argentina!

I’m going into this trip knowing very little of Argentina’s culture, history and business environment. I’ve done a little preliminary research and asked a number of individuals who have been to Argentina before (they all have made me very keen on tasting the steak and wine!), but I really want this trip to be a nine day adventure in discovery. With that said, I’m going to dedicate this post to all of the things I’m looking forward to discovering as I make my way through the country.

We will begin the trip in Buenos Aires, where the plan is to visit seven prominent businesses representing a number of industries. Two of our visits will be with financial firms, Banco Galicia and Puente. Argentina has had several major financial crises in the few decades, including the 2001 economic crisis where the country ultimately defaulted on its debt. These two banks certainly have managed to survive that crisis and I think our visits could provide unique insight into Argentina’s fascinating and sometimes turbulent economic history.

Additionally, we will visit Grupo Clarin, a media holding company, Tenaris, a supplier and service provider to some of the world’s leading oil and gas companies, and Cresud, a business specifically involved in agricultural services. We will also get the opportunity to meet with Economist Domingo Felipe Cavallo and Marcos Pena, chief of newly elected President Mauricio Macri’s cabinet. Visiting Argentina so soon after the election will definitely be a great opportunity to understand the current political, cultural, and economic climate in the country. I am especially excited for the visit to Club Atletico River Plate, one of Argentina’s sports clubs and football teams. I previously worked in the sports industry and have dedicated a lot of my graduate studies learning about the international sports industry.

We will move on to Mendoza for the final leg of our trip. While I know even less about Mendoza than I do about Buenos Aires, I know that Mendoza is wine country in Argentina. Naturally, visiting winery Salentein, will be a great educational (and tasty!) experience. We will have one other official visit (with the Governor of Mendoza) while in the region, and will dedicate the rest of our time to some outdoor activities. I imagine hiking so close to the Andes and river rafting will definitely be memorable.

There are so many things that I haven’t mentioned that I’m also looking forward to and perhaps a little nervous (read: polo!) to experience. Having lived in a Spanish speaking country previously, I look forward to communicating in Spanish. As a dancer, I look forward to watching a Tango performance and experiencing the night life. And most importantly, as a member of the CBS community, I look forward to experiencing all of these things with my classmates and friends. Now I’m off to start packing. Stay tuned for updates from Argentina!

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