Hola! I'm writing this entry from Santiago, Chile where I am studying for the month of January at Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile. UC is just one of the schools worldwide that Kelley has partnerships with and I am very fortunate to have to opportunity to study here with other top MBA students from all over the world.
I am taking two courses in Santiago. The first is an intensive international business course taught through the University. I am also taking a Spanish language class in order to work towards becoming fluent. Before coming to Chile I had some fears that I would be at a disadvantage by not taking any MBA consumer marketing classes while I was gone. However, I have already learned so much on my own about consumer packaged goods in South America in the two short weeks that I have been here. For example, while shopping at my local Lider (one of the major chains in Chile) I noticed that the entire USA section was filled with Walmart 'Great Value' items! As Katie Zonino previously blogged about, we had been fortunate enough to learn about the Great Value strategy directly from the Walmart marketing team in our consumer channels management class. Seeing the great value brand on the shelf in Chile was a surprise and through internet research I discovered that Walmart acquired Lider in 2009. This partnership is a great way for Walmart to expand its reach on private label beyond the USA.
I am having a great time comparing consumer goods here to their counterparts in the USA and seeing the truly global reach of the companies that recruit MBA product marketing students here on campus. This trip is helping me have a more global outlook on all my business classes - including consumer marketing!