Over Spring break a group of School of Management students traveled to Chile to for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Over Spring break, a group of School of Management students accompanied by Professor's Teresa Nelson and Areen Shahbari, traveled to Chile and had the opportunity to explore and understand Chile’s economy, its entrepreneurial ecosystem, the role of women in growing the economy, and the position of small nations like Chile within a global landscape.
Students who went on the trip were asked to share their experiences. Below are some of their personal comments.
"The SOM trip to Chile was fantastic! It was an excellent mix of learning about the country in general, and hearing from professionals about the economy and the push for innovation. We met a few small business owners, as well as high level professionals. Every speaker was fantastic. And exploring Chile was amazing. It was interesting to learn how this small country has made such strong gains in the last several years, positioning itself as a top international startup hub. In addition, every student on the trip was a joy to travel with. All of the women were smart and insightful, and we all actively soaked up every minute of the trip. Areen and Teresa are simply phenomenal professors, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to take this travel course with them". -Christina Margiotta
"To me it is always incredible to see how entrepreneurial culture varies depending on geographic location and other social and economic factors. For instance, here in the U.S. we have easier access to information about how to start your own business through social media, universities, special programs or events and literature; in other places like Chile, there are limited resources in terms of entrepreneurial resources. On the other hand, a huge move has been made towards more innovative and entrepreneurial culture in Chile. One great example is the Start-up Chile program founded by the Chilean government in Santiago. This program attracts entrepreneurs from all over the world with the main focus on changing the country’s culture. So far over 60 countries are involved in Start-Up Chile and the number keeps growing. When we visited the Start-Up Chile office, the program’s representative said, “Why would the Chilean government found a program like this? Well, we thought if we (Chileans) can’t go to other countries, we should bring other countries to Chile!” -Kristina Iaccarino
"Chile was a fascinating experience in which I learned about the role of policy, geography, gender, and culture on the economy. We explored what it is like to own a small business and launch a start-up in Chile by talking to Chileans themselves. This travel course was an invaluable experience". -Meg McCleary
"I loved our Chilean experience abroad! It was a great way to get to know my classmates and experience a new culture with new/old friends, especially trying out all of the cuisine. The most beautiful portion of the trip was visiting Valparaiso, which is located about an hour and a half from Santiago. There was an abundant amount of street art and culture engulfing the streets, it was an awesome experience. I would 100% go back in a heartbeat if I had the chance".