By Liz Warren-Pederson
The Eller Executive Education team is building educational inroads in Latin America. On a recent trip to Colombia, Associate Dean Stephen Gilliland, Assistant Dean Paul Melendez, and Eller College Dean Len Jessup began exploring potential partnerships with business schools, consulting firms, and speakers’ bureaus.
“Colombia has free trade agreement with the U.S., significant foreign direct investment, and high concentrations of multinational corporations,” said Melendez. “The country has turned around problems with drug violence, has become a role model for other Latin American countries, and an attractive market for Eller Executive Education.”
The Eller team met with alumnus Luis Plata, who was instrumental in negotiating the U.S.-Colombia trade agreement. “He shared a market analysis of opportunities in Colombia and set up meetings with a number of partners,” Gilliland said.
Going forward, Eller Executive Education sees opportunities to connect the College’s internationally recognized faculty with the largest speaker bureau in Latin America to help share the UA name and brand throughout the region, as well as partnerships with the leading business school in Columbia on top-level executive education. “They have had success delivering executive education to mid-level managers, but have had trouble with the top level, who often travel to U.S. business schools for executive education,” Gilliland said. “Our partnership concept is to bring the U.S. brand through a local school. Other U.S. business schools are partnering in the region on MBA programs, but we see an opportunity to be leaders in the executive education market in Colombia.”
“We see a lot of potential,” Melendez said. “There is real opportunity to extend our reach by developing strong partnerships with Latin American firms.”
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