MBA students visit South America

17 October 2019

Gonzalo Baeza H [CC BY 2.0 (]

The University of Waikato MBA is a life-changing programme for leaders and managers looking to take the next step in their careers. A highlight of the programme is an international study tour, designed to give students first-hand experience of international business, and a chance to experience practical application of their skills in an international context.

Previous study tour destinations have included the UK, India and China, but this year’s cohort will be experiencing something a little different, spending a week in Chile in November 2019.

The 2019 study tour is a collaboration between the MBA leadership team and Master of Management Studies international student Victoria Astorga, who is from Chile.

The study tour programme to Chile is something of a “spin-off” from a programme funded by the Latin America CAPE, which Victoria led alongside a New Zealander working with Start-up Chile. The programme took a cohort of 3 New Zealand start-ups to Santiago to assess opportunities to expand to Chile and potentially the rest of Latin America.

The MBA students will be working with three New Zealand businesses looking to enter or expand their presence in the South American market: animal equipment company Shoof International, online digital technology education service Code Avengers, and storytelling tech company Vaka Interactiv.

Victoria has worked with the Waikato Management School to put together an impressive programme for the MBA group, in Chile’s capital city Santiago, including visits to Microsoft, Soprole (Fonterra), Start-up Chile, Walmart and Ernst & Young.

Shoof International already has a presence in Chile, but has tasked the students with tackling a logistics challenge relating to storage and distribution. Code Avengers is looking to build its sales, and Vaka Interactiv is interested in creating a strategy to pursue sales leads in South America. The MBA students will gather relevant data and research potential opportunities.  After the trip, the students will be able to develop a strategy responding to each company’s goals.

Professional Programmes Director Dr. Heather Connolly says, “the study tour is not just about visiting a new region, it’s about examining and exploring what global innovations and how these apply to New Zealand. Students positively disrupt traditional ways of doing business by applying their learning from the study tour.

Our MBA students are future-thinking, agile, resilient leaders, who are constantly engaging with new innovative ways to strengthen and grow NZ business.  They are not just wanting to make a difference, they are making an impact.”

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