I'm Traveling to Chile to Learn About the Wine Industry


Jacob Gordon, a Ross BBA junior with a focus in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and a dual degree in Spanish, is traveling to Chile over spring break to learn about the Chilean wine industry. Jacob is also a member of the Michigan Sports Business Conference, and in the future he hopes to combine his passion for sports and entrepreneurship into global development for emerging economies.

The trip is part of the Ross Global Practicum Course "Understanding Industry Growth in Chile." During the course, Jacob and his classmates will meet with Chilean business leaders, visit companies and wineries, and conduct fieldwork in Santiago.

This live photo and video blog from Jacob will capture the experience.

Monday, April 6

Monday, March 9

My alarm sounded at 7:45AM this morning. I glanced at my phone, took a peek outside and eventually sighed in disbelief; my week in Chile was officially over. Disappointment settled as I collected both my materials and myself for my 8:30 class.

However, as I opened my front door to embrace the cold, a shift occurred; disappointment had vanished, and realization struck. Through this global practicum course in Chile, my perspective of both business and the world itself has permanently shifted.

In 7 days I went from zero knowledge about Chile and consistently mispronouncing the country as a pepper (Incorrect: Chill-E → Correct: Chill-Eh), to having a comprehensive understanding of its position in the global economy and its significant role in the wine industry.

Yet, arguably more important to my career as a businessperson is the knowledge I gained about human interaction. Business is all about relationships, and, simply stated, different cultures have different norms. This course was great exposure and immersion into the business and societal norms that exist in Latin America, and it showed me what it takes to be successful in a global setting.

Even if at times the learning curve was embarrassing.

When we met with sponsor partners from Siegel Wines, I went greet the founder with a traditional handshake and kiss on the cheek only to be met with rejection and confused laughter. Not appropriate for business meetings - noted. The embarrassment lasted a second, but the lesson will stick forever.

In fact, everything I experienced during this week will last a lifetime. The business connections will extend through the semester and beyond as we help build Siegel Wines’ brand in the United States. And the cultural and business knowledge will provide a reference and guide for future international business endeavors. Most memorably, the friendships fostered will continue to grow and develop as together we progress through things like TO313, recruitment, graduation and beyond.

Sunday, March 8

up on the beaches of Pichilemu. #pichilemu #surfing #rossglobal

A photo posted by Jacob Gordon (@jacob_gordon) on Mar 8, 2015 at 3:10am PDT

Thursday, March 5

Wednesday, March 4

TUESDAY, March 3

The Team. Minus my eyes. #chile #santiago #noihotel #rooftop #rossglobal

A photo posted by Jacob Gordon (@jacob_gordon) on Mar 3, 2015 at 6:19am PST

MONDAY, March 2

Casually on top of Santiago. #santiago #rossglobal #isthisreal?

A photo posted by Jacob Gordon (@jacob_gordon) on Mar 2, 2015 at 2:08pm PST

SUNDAY, March 1

Day 1: A walking tour through Santiago, including el museo histórico bellas artes. #santiago #chile #rossglobal

A photo posted by Jacob Gordon (@jacob_gordon) on Mar 1, 2015 at 4:46pm PST




#tbt to Argentina. Making my South America return this weekend. #chile #southamerica

A photo posted by Jacob Gordon (@jacob_gordon) on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:46pm PST