My Davidson | A Student Blog Tapping into the Davidson Alumni Network: Around the World & Back

a young white man stands in front of a wall that reads " sin miedo"

Touring the hills (cerros) of Valparaiso with my family, the background of the photo says "Sin miedo" meaning "without fear," which was the motto of my trip.

Jonathan Hammond ’24 discusses seven weeks spent in Santiago, Chile and the many connections leveraged through the Davidson alumni network. 

About the Author

Jonathan Hammond ’24 is a communication studies major and economics minor from Atlanta, Georgia. 

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This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in a seven-week internship with Empresas Banmedica, a prominent international health insurance company based in Santiago, Chile. This invaluable opportunity was made possible thanks to Davidson’s Dean Rusk International Studies Program, as well as Davidson’s outstanding alumni network. Thanks, David Barnard ’79!

What set my internship apart was its unique structure. Instead of being confined to a single department within Empresas Banmedica, I had the opportunity to engage with five distinct communications and marketing teams across various divisions of the company, all conducted entirely in Spanish.

a pink and orange sunrise over a city skyline

Sunset outside of my apartment complex as I left work in Santiago.

During the initial two-week phase, I was immersed in the operations of Isapre Banmedica, which is a branch of the company specializing in private health insurance. This period was particularly significant as the private healthcare systems in Chile have been undergoing strains due to several political and economic factors. In response, within my first week at Isapre Banmedica, the communications and marketing team underwent a division to establish a new health insurance arm of Empresas Banmedica named Help Seguros.

a group of young men and women squat in a sandy beach volleyball court

My close group of friends at our weekly Saturday volleyball match.

By my third week, I transitioned to Help Seguros, where I collaborated with their recently acquired digital marketing and communications team for two weeks. In the subsequent phase, I dedicated my efforts to Clínica Santa María, a vital healthcare provider under the Empresas Banmedica umbrella, gaining experience working in deliveries and net promoter score assessment.

As I progressed through the sixth week of my internship experience, I transitioned to a role within the internal communications team that served the entirety of Empresas Banmedica. This exposure granted me a comprehensive view of the organization's communication strategies.

a young man sits in front of a window overlooking a city from above

I had the chance to observe the best view of Santiago from the top of Sky Costanera, the tallest building in South America.

My seventh and final week interning was spent working with the marketing and communications team responsible for all healthcare providers within Empresas Banmedica, enabling me to gain insights into a broader array of communication nuances.

a young white man takes a selfie with an older man and woman on a city street

Taking a selfie with Khoury Ashoosh ’03 and Kathy Uribe, Vice President of Communication and Marketing at Empresas Banmedica. 

Throughout this transformative experience, I embraced the challenge of honing my Spanish language skills and enhancing my understanding of the realm of communications and marketing. Additionally, with the help of InterNations, a networking organization of foreign workers, I was able to branch out beyond the confines of the workplace making new friends from diverse backgrounds and exploring various regions of Chile. I was also able to connect with Khoury Ashoosh, an alum of Davidson’s class of 2003, for a Chilean lunch, and Tanner Peake, a current Davidson student, wrestling for Puerto Rico in the Pan American Wrestling Championship. These encounters with people and places deepened my understanding and appreciation of Chilean and Latin cultures, traditions, and dialects.

With profound gratitude, I attribute this incredible experience to the Davidson Dean Rusk Program, which has expanded my horizons and given me an unforgettable experience, lasting friendships, and fluency in Spanish.