Siying Yu, MSc Management student, shares her experience of taking part in a study trip to Argentina as part of her course:
I’m an international student from China and I used to study environmental engineering at undergraduate level. Then I decided to switch my major and explore the business world. WBS has an excellent reputation in China and MSc Management welcomes students from a range of different backgrounds. Both the range of modules and the study trip attracted me to apply to Warwick Business School.
The purpose of the study trip was to gain a historical perspective on Argentina’s economic and political development and understand the influence of fluctuating policies in the country. By visiting different organisations in different sectors, we tried to explore the social and political impact on strategic decision-making for businesses operating in Argentina.
Exploring a range of businesses operating in Argentina
On day 1, we visited Cefeidas Group & BACC, where speakers gave us a speech about the political and economic situation in Argentina. As this was the start of the study trip, this helped us to gain a basic and general understanding of Argentine society.
On the second day, we visited Eurofarma, where speakers gave us an overview of Eurofarma within the pharmaceuticals industry, and introduced us to the Argentine health system. We also visited its production line. Later that day we visited an energy company, Pampa Energia, where we were given an investor presentation of the Argentine energy industry, and how Pampa meets Argentina’s energy needs.
Visiting Grupo Clarin – a media group with a history of opposition
Our third day was another full day as we visited Grupo Clarin, which is a leading media company in Argentina. At Grupo Clarin, the speaker gave us an explanation of the company history and its opposition to the previous government. They also explained their strategy of diversifying into digital and technology. Grupo Clarin impressed me a lot. As the leader of the Argentine media industry, the group has paid a huge price to oppose the government at the beginning of the 21st century, in order to protect freedom of speech. It is impossible to judge whether Clarin is doing this only by protecting the monopoly of its business, but this kind of corporate culture that dares to be the enemy of the government has left a very special impression on me.
The next day we visited Energizar Foundation, an NGO for renewable energy promotion and training, where we learnt more about the projects they do. We also went to Globant, a global IT service company that is one of the fastest growing companies in Latin America.
On our final day we visited Terminal Zarate, where the speaker explained how Argentine and international policies affect trade with and from Argentina, and we were shown the layout of the port. We finished our trip with a visit to Fundacion Nordelta, which is an NGO for community service in a poorer area of Argentina. The speakers gave us an overview of the organization and we were able to volunteer at the NGO in the afternoon.
During our free time we explored the city by visiting museums and local markets. The collections of the National Gallery showed us the artistic development of Argentina, from the creations of the indigenous groups, to the European culture of the colonial period, to the modern art of Argentina.
Learning about Latin American culture and attitude
This trip gave me the chance to learn about Latin American culture. Although Argentina faces frequent political fluctuation and severe inflation, the people have a self-motivated spirit, especially the Argentine entrepreneurs who struggle to survive in the global market. Their attitude to life is my key takeaway and I would consider the option of working in Latin America after taking part in this trip.
I really enjoyed the whole study week. It gave us the opportunity to explore a different country in depth, from its political sector to its society. The group also offered the chance to meet new friends. For me, this study trip will be a really good memory from my year at Warwick. I’d recommend future MSc students take this opportunity as a perfect time to build your network with classmates and to understand a different culture. It will be a tiring but rewarding journey!