Our team in Chile is holding this year's event, which brings final-year students and graduates into contact with finance and banking. The 2020 event was digital and rooted in solidarity.

The final Business Experience Santander (BES) event was livestreamed on 8 October. Every year, it brings young talent together for team problem-solving. This time it focused on customer experience, financial literacy, SMEs and entrepreneurs. Participants have a great opportunity to learn and experience the business world for the first time.

This year’s event hosted young people from various regions in Chile, including Bío Bío, the Santiago Metropolitan Region, Valparaíso, Tarapacá, La Araucanía, Coquimbo, Maule, Antofagasta, Atacama, Bernardo O’Higgins, Ñuble and Los Lagos. It took place over several days and was widely publicized on social media. Students had various stages to tackle selected challenges.  

Participants worked in teams and had the opportunity to attend webinars on the Design Sprint 2.0 methodology. Finalists were given mentoring to take on challenges and fine-tune skills.

This initiative embodies our group's interest in promoting talent. In the words of Maria Eugenia de la Fuente, head of the People, Communications and Sustainability division, "at Santander, we make sure to develop the careers of the people who work [here]. We have a very strong meritocracy system in place as well as a sense of leadership that makes things happen."

Due to the public health crisis caused by covid-19, BES was virtual for the first time ever. This allowed young people from across Chile to participate. 31 universities were represented by more than 450 registered participants and 343 guests. 

Eight finalists were selected from the 33 submissions. These groups presented their proposals via livestream (watched by more than 600 people) to a panel featuring Natalia Moncada, general head of Universia Chile; Gonzalo Rodríguez, head of the Compromiso País project; and Cristóbal Mestre, deputy head of Customer Intelligence and Strategy. "Simonyi Budapest" was the winning team with their "SOSantander" project, focused on customer experience. But competition was fierce in this year's final. Natalia Moncada stressed that "it was almost too hard to choose. We saw some very good projects. The winner presented a segmented and customised proposal."

The panel of judges at Business Experience Santander
The panel of judges at Business Experience Santander

This year’s event also sought to show solidarity. Participants not only won prizes (such as a tablet and a work placement at the bank), but also helped their universities receive connectivity scholarships for students in need.

Many participants rated the experience a success. According to Nicolás Cabello: "I won't forget this experience. I met a lot of interesting people and did my very best"; or finalist Andrea Peralta: "We gained experience and so we're happy."

Banco Santander aims to be a great company to work for and a leading example for young talent. Initiatives like this allow us to fulfil our purpose of helping our communities and employees prosper and making their dreams come true through our culture.

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