Alberto Frias is a Spanish young engineering student at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago de Chile and today we wanted to share his experience studying abroad at this excellent school.
Alberto Frias: A Promising Engineer in Chile
- Why did you decided to go study at Pontificia Universidad Católica (PUC) in Chile?
In 2012 I was doing volunteering work over the summer in Peru with my university, Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, and I quite liked South America. I realized it is an amazing continent that I sometimes forget about, which makes no sense given that we share common History and language.
Doing some research about universities, I found out that PUC is one of the best in the continent, if not the best. That is how I made the decision and came to Chile.
- What exactly did you study at PUC?
The second year of my Master’s Degree (MII) does not include so many engineering modules but more managerial ones. There were also many optional modules, which is why I decided to take courses with a more special methodology.
One of the modules I chose was Project Evaluation. After an advanced course on evaluation, the students start working as consultants in real-life projects with companies, always under the supervision of alumni acting as mentors.
I took part in a hotel project in a Southern region in Chile. This module is assessed based on a presentation in front of the professor, the mentor and the board of directors of the company. I must admit that I was a little nervous at this final presentation, but everything turned out great in the end.
Another fun subject was Advanced Management Topics, which worked as a seminar. We were required to read two papers and a business case every week, and during the class session we would discuss the texts and solve the case. The grade we obtained for that module was based on a research paper we had to defend before an audience and keep records on a blog.
- What is so unique about studying at PUC?
In general, everything focuses more on continuous evaluation, three tests that if you pass with a good grade, free you from taking the final exam. Besides, there is the possibility of taking modules more focused on real life situations, which really guide you towards choosing a future professional career.
- Do you think your stay in Chile would have been different had you attented a different university?
Definitely. PUC is very linked to the Chilean culture and highly recommended for many companies. Furthermore, people at PUC make sure foreign students at the university feel welcome and make the most of their stay by promoting trips and parties and providing mentors.
When I arrived, one aspect that really stood out for me was the focus on an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset at PUC. It is very common that students start up their own businesses or participate in tenders.
This mindset is a reality partly thanks to the university support they receive in this matter, both from the Innovation Center and from special modules aimed at boosting the creativity and problem-solving skills, plus they have an amazing program to do an internship solving real-life challenges from companies.
Are you interested in innovation and solving real-life engineering challenges?