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MBA Students Experience International Business & Culture in India

April 01, 2013
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Nineteen full-time MBA students know a lot more about business and culture in India after taking part in an international study trip there during spring break in March.

Led by Vaidy Jayaraman, associate professor of management, and organized through the University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the for-credit program, entitled “Doing Business in India,” enabled students to visit businesses and other universities throughout the country for 10 days.

“India is different from the U.S. in so many ways.  It was wonderful to show students the cultural diversity that exists and because India is an expanding market, it was great for the students to learn more about how business is done there,” said Niccole Pertierra Iglesias, assistant director for CIBER.

At the businesses, students had the chance to meet top-level executives, network and learn about business practices on the other side of the globe.

Students also engaged in many cultural activities to gain a greater understanding of the region. During the trip, students also visited the Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai. Through a program called Karma Yoga created by the institute, students went to villages throughout the city where they interacted with the local children and gave them gifts.

“Having our students interact and teach the children allowed them to give back, and was a highlight for many of them,” said Iglesias.

Another experience during the trip that students expressed as particularly memorable was visiting a Delhi landfill, a hazardous environment where hundreds of workers live and pick through the waste. Iglesias says this was “eye-opening for the students.”

“You don't experience this every day,” said Iglesias. “You saw women and children – entire families – living there. It really had an impact on the students.”

This is the first year that School of Business students have travelled during the spring break intersession through CIBER. Established in 2010 with a grant from the  U.S. Department of Education and housed in the School of Business, the UM CIBER is one of 33 such centers created by Congress under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. The Center serves as an important gateway for business and government leaders, citizens, students and faculty to develop and strengthen their international competencies - particularly in the service sector - to create new initiatives that will enhance the international competitiveness of the U.S.

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