Chile’s growing economy attracts international business students

Students from Penn State Smeal College of Business Executive MBA Program visit Santiago to see first-hand Chile’s dynamic expansion.


Students from the Philadelphia-based Penn State Smeal College of Business Executive MBA Program travel each year to a different country to learn from its business models and culture. This year, the students voted on a destination, choosing Santiago for its strong economy and bright future.

“Chile is a country in South America that has really started to shift from developing to developed,” said EMBA student Rob Page, told Penn State News. “It’s a country that is attractive to North American business in many ways, and this trip gave us a chance to see for ourselves some of the opportunities available there.”

Page, who is also vice president of operational risk oversight in Card Services at JPMorgan Chase & Co., was one of thirty-one business students from Penn State to travel to Santiago. The students, along with three faculty members, met with various industry leaders in the capital ranging from the agriculture sector to international banking.

Among the many distinguished business leaders the group met with was the CEO of Scotiabank Chile, James E. Callahan.

“Scotiabank has a presence in many countries, and we were fortunate to hear from leadership there about the financial and banking situation in Chile,” said Glen Kreiner, associate professor of management at the Smeal College of Business who accompanied the students on the trip.

One of the major goals of the visit to Chile was to immerse the second-year business students in a foreign country, expanding their views of how economies and businesses work around the world. However, the trip also served to expand the student’s international contacts.

“The trip really opened up possibilities for making connections with businesspeople and suppliers in Chile,” said EMBA student and senior project manager at The Hartford Jeremy Fernandez, “I took advantage of that, and I know many of my classmates did as well. It’s a way of expanding your horizons and your networks.”

While these business students and faculty visited Santiago, the capital also welcomed another guest from Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Corbett met with Chilean president Sebastián Piñera in May to discuss new cooperation in a wide range of areas such as education, energy, mining, agriculture, and science and technology as well as cultural and art exchanges.