University of Southern California

Exploring in Chilean Time
April 1, 2011 • by Angie Kim

Chilean time and American time are different. That was one of the first observations I made during my recent LINC* trip to Santiago, Chile. Chileans are hard-working people, but if you say, "Let's meet at 10," they may show up at 10:15, or 10:20, or 10:30. It's their way of life.

That was among the many insights I brought back from my voyage abroad. The USC Marshall School of Business's LINC program took me and 30 of my freshman friends on a journey of discovery that immersed us in the world of Chilean business.

My week-long trip to Chile was the capstone experience of a nine-week LINC program. It began with classes here at USC that taught us about business in Chile, and ended with an immersive trip to Santiago that widened our views of business and may have changed our lives.

We visited local markets and the Chilean Stock Exchange, the CMPC Paper Factory and the Concha y Toro Winery. Chileans are incredibly friendly and love talking to foreigners just as they love mayonnaise. Juice and liquids of all sorts come in pouches. Imagine pouring milk from a Craisins bag! Their leading industries of copper, wine, salmon, fruits and vegetables have remained strong even through the global recession. Encouraged to start new companies by their government, Chileans' exude an absolutely admirable entrepreneurial spirit! And we were on the ground discovering this vibrant, new world—like explorers.

The trip taught us that to engage in international business, you have to deeply submerge yourself in the country's culture. It helped me to keep in mind that because the world is ever-changing and the countries are increasingly interdependent, to do business globally you have to stretch beyond your own horizons. That's where LINC sent us.

And guess what? I'm a freshman. What other business school sends 400 eager freshmen to Chile, Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, and Taiwan? That's what makes Marshall extraordinary. Through the Dean's Exploratory Fund, Dean Jim Ellis has the flexibility to support programs like LINC that develop explorers like me. Help us keep the Exploratory Fund strong, because Marshall is helping us to explore, discover, then develop our futures.

Fight On!
Angie Kim
Marshall School of Business
Class of 2014

* Learning About International Commerce