MS in Commerce Blog

Global Immersion Experience Q&A: Business Adventures in Latin America

Discover firsthand insights from Maeghan Holzbaur (M.S. in Commerce ’23) as she answers questions about her unforgettable Global Immersion Experience in Latin America last year.

Photography from the M.S. in Commerce Latin America Global Immersion Experience in 2023

Row 1, L-R: Visit to Tenaris steel factory outside Buenos Aires; Street art on a wall in Valparaíso, Chile. Row 2, L-R: View above Aires Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires; San Alberto Coffee in Bogotá, Colombia.

By Maeghan Holzbaur (M.S. in Commerce ’23)

Takeaways from the M.S. in Commerce Global Immersion Experience

Where did you go for your Global Immersion Experience?

I was part of the Latin America cohort– we visited Bogotá, Colombia; Santiago, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of the Global Immersion Experience (GIE). We also took day trips to Valparaíso in Chile and the Tigre Delta, just outside Buenos Aires in Argentina.

What companies did you interact with on your trip?

We interacted with a variety of companies, both local and international, throughout Latin America. A few favorites were Don Eusebio Flower Farm, San Alberto Coffee, Undurraga Vineyards, and technology firm Globant. Our group was also able to tour the fashion company Totto and speak with the company’s founder. I was excited to have the opportunity to explore Sinergium Biotech, a firm specializing in manufacturing vaccines based in Argentina. As a part of the Biotechnology Track, it was a great experience to see the life sciences sector abroad. We also had time to explore the cities through guided tours and on our own!

M.S. in Commerce Global Immersion Experience Latin America Trip. View from Monserrate, Bogotá, Colombia

View from Monserrate, Bogotá, Colombia.

What were your favorite moments?

We had a group dinner at the top of a mountain (Monserrate) in Bogotá, Colombia. It was an incredible view! We were able to explore the small town and church atop the mountain, after a slightly terrifying cable car journey. Just before dinner, we were able to find some discounted jerseys for the Colombian national soccer team.

Throughout GIE, we were able to eat at some amazing restaurants in all three countries, including El Chato in Bogotá! Our “beach day” at Viña del Mar in Chile was also a highlight – we were able to escape the grey skies of Santiago for the artwork of Valparaíso and find some cute dogs along the way.

M.S. in Commerce Global Immersion Experience in Latin America. View from the cable car atop Monserrate, Bogotá, Colombia

View from the cable car atop Monserrate, Bogotá, Colombia.

What surprised you most?

I was shocked that we were able to meet such high-level executives and obtain access to areas at each facility. Every professional we encountered valued our questions and feedback, wanting to know more about our professional experiences before joining McIntire. Also, I was thrilled that we had dedicated time to explore the locations on our own to truly get acquainted with the new environment. In our own ways, we could see principles we learned at McIntire in everyday life.

What did you learn during your Global Immersion Experience?

Never be afraid to ask questions! At every company we visited, employees always wanted feedback from our perspective. We all gain something from each other’s curiosity. We were able to explore restaurants, museums, and attractions after asking our guides and others for recommendations. Your track leaders will also take your feedback into consideration – let your faculty team know what companies and excursions interest you!

M.S. in Commerce Global Immersion Experience collage. Pictures from the 2023 cohort.

Left top: Andres Carne de Res in Bogotá, Colombia. Left bottom: Undurraga Winery, near Santiago, Chile. R: Street art mural in Valparaíso, Chile.

How has the experience impacted your career and personal growth?

I love traveling, and the GIE made choosing McIntire so much easier. This was my second time traveling to Latin America, and I can’t wait to go back! It was so amazing to see a diverse set of cultures and languages within a short timeframe. It was also a challenge to test out my Spanish, which is something I want to work on in 2024. The best parts about GIE were the unexpected adventures along the way (and the food!).


Want to learn more about the M.S. in Commerce Global Immersion Experience? Explore what you’ll learn leading up to and during this unique opportunity to experience the complexities of global business firsthand. Destinations vary each year.

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