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The SHR Experience in Mexico City!

By Amanda Moran

January 30, 2024

Amanda Moran

When the winter break global trip was announced, I immediately jumped at the chance to venture south to Mexico City for the annual international business course trip to Mexico. As a second year who had the amazing opportunity to travel to Argentina last year with the same course, I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to compare international business practices from another Latin American country. Fourteen MBA and Master students, including three SHR center students, traveled to Mexico City this January for a week filled with opportunities to learn about Mexican culture, food, history, and international business practices. During the week, we engaged with numerous business leaders from a variety of different industries and had the opportunity to deepen our understanding of Mexican business practices and policies.

We started the week exploring Mexico’s business and financial landscape. Our first visit was to BC&B Consulting, where we were welcomed by Jorge Saldivar, Business Partner Director, and Guillermo Symonds, Project Manager. There we gained an understanding of Mexico’s economy from a foreign investment, business law, and consulting perspective. Next, we visited Veritran, an online banking company. We gained insights on challenges to banking services in Mexico, such as the evolving financial sector in the country from Fabian Berdiales, Country & Brand Manager, and Jorge Sanchez Barcelo, Head of Marketing Communications. We finished the first day with a welcome dinner at Terazza Cha Cha Cha. Included was an amazing view of the city and the Monumento a la Revolucion.

We started day two with a presentation from Rolo Leyton, CEO of Tropical Organic Growers, sharing insights into Mexico’s booming agricultural industry. Learning about their company aspirations for growth and involvement in the US food market gave us further insights into the valuable exports of fruits and vegetables in the Mexican economy. The second visit was with Generac hosted at the Tecnologico de Moneterrey campus, learning about Mexico’s energy sector. As a Wisconsin based company that has expanded globally to Mexico, it was interesting to hear about the political climate and the government’s stance on energy that impacts the company operations in regulations, trends, and overall project development in Mexico.

Day three started with a visit to the beautiful Four Seasons Mexico City hotel, where we were welcomed by Tulio Hochkoeppler, General Manager, and Laura Villalobos, Director of Marketing, who presented on Mexico’s tourism industry as well as luxury tourism in Mexico City. With my personal background working in luxury hospitality, I connected deeply with the Four Season’s commitment to exceptional quality service, and the entire group enjoyed a tour of their urban oasis property. We spent the afternoon with our guide, Eva, who led a tour through the city center, learning about the historical significance of the city’s famous monuments.

Day four was all about Technology, Media, and Business reporting, with our first visit hosted at where we heard from the VP of Partnerships, Ignacio Estranga. His team shared trends, challenges, consumer needs and their competitive business model in the media streaming sector and how they’ve adapted to the Mexican market. In the afternoon, we visited Bloomberg, where Carolina Millan, Mexico Bureau Chief, shared with us an understanding of business reporting and key storylines in the recent presidential elections that have impacted a variety of industries across Mexico, including several of the industry visits we discussed all week. Carolina provided further context to challenges with journalism in Mexico and the importance of reporting on issues such as the political landscape in Mexico.

Our final day began with a visit to Amazon, where we learned about unique challenges to the Mexican branch such as distribution channels, infrastructure, different consumer behavior, localization, and the ecommerce market in Mexico. Finally, we visited Activamente. Founder Ana Cravioto spoke to us about insights into digital marketing, brand management, consumer segments and retail channels in Mexico.

Our final two days in Mexico City were free to explore more of the city’s culture, history, and beauty. Students took advantage of a variety of different museums, historical sights, and cultural events over the weekend. Personally, I attended a Luche Libre wrestling match at Arena Mexico, visited the Castillo de Chapultepec and the National History Museum, and enjoyed the cultural immersion experience at Xochimilco. Our final farewell dinner was at Azulisimo, showcasing some of Mexico’s finest authentic cuisine while we celebrated the course completion.

Overall, this enriching experience not only provided a deeper understanding of Mexico’s business landscape, but also broadened our perspectives on international business globally and in Latin America. The opportunity to learn and hear firsthand about different business challenges in Mexico will certainly influence our future business decisions and strategies with a deeper context of how to be a successful global business leader. With a deeper understanding of the global economy, cultural understandings, and international practices, I feel better equipped to become a leader in a globally diverse business context. Both international business course trips will certainly remain a highlight of my MBA journey, providing me with invaluable perspective on internal business and global leadership. Experiences such as this week in Mexico City could not be duplicated in the classrooms in Wisconsin, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow alongside my MBA and Master student colleagues.