How has India affected me? That is a question I have been asking myself for the past couple days. Almost as important as the journey itself is the time taken for reflection at the end. So in taking time for reflection I realized a few things about my worldview which I will discuss that India has shaped. I would say one of the biggest things that India helped me to do while developing my worldview is become more empathetic. I think I could have study India and Indian culture for years but until I actually chose to visit India I would probably never have been able to truly empathize with the people of India, being there around a vast diversity of people helped me see what they experience in a new light. I think that another thing that India did was create some cultural curiosity in me. Being there, in India, caused me to want to find out and understand more about there culture. I found since I have been back that I have actually looked up some information about India and pulled out an atlas to find out more about it. Two weeks is certainly not enough time to learn very much about a culture but it is enough time to create interest in that culture that will last beyond the two weeks. I also know that my worldview has been shifted along with some of my paradigms on business and culture in India. Now whenever I see India I have a personal sentiment towards it and a certain level of understanding of what actually happens there. When I read about something on yahoo that happened in Delhi I will have a mental picture of where it is and what it looks like. Being in India changed my view of India, maybe even created a view that did not even exist in the first place. Reading my first blog the opening was "What do I know about India? Actually almost nothing." I think the fact that that has changed shows a level of success with the program. I know that looking back on what I have learned has really changed India from that country on the other side of the world to that place I visited. This change has helped me relate better to the people of India and understand their culture which has caused me to have an expanded worldview. Looking at just these three aspects has amazed me. India did and will play a role in the direction of my life over the next few years. It was an awesome cultural experience and I am glad that I chose India as my international experience through Carlson. Thank you all!
So it's my last day in India, what can I possibly say about the experience I have had in the past two weeks. Crazy, hot, lots of sitting, each of these were a part of what we went through in India. I was surprised by some things, especially land prices, I just can't believe how high they are here. I am very thankful they are much lower in the US! One of the other things that surprises me is amazing amount of diversity in India. There are so many different cultures all meshed in to one huge populated country. It is so interesting how many languages that people speak, I'm sure some of the languages are similar but still, speaking 5 or 6 languages sounds like so much work. One of the unique things that I found was how many contradictions there are. I would see three different presentations and there would be three different population and GDP figures in each of them. I think that the huge amount of diversity is probably what ends up leading to that. Overall, I think the trip was a great success. I would go again, I think that in 5 years I will be really glad that I truly chose a cultural experience like India instead of something that might be more "fun" like Australia. India was definitely an eye opening experience!
Well, we're finally back in the states. While reflecting on our two weeks in India, it really is impossible to touch on all of the experiences I had and the information that I have learned about Indian culture, but I will try my best to highlight my favorite parts. First off was the ridiculous driving that occurred every day. I am absolutely amazed how traffic in India can run the way it is without having about 20 accidents a day. I felt that our driving experiences encompassed the phrase best describing India in general, an "organized mess". Next would have to be the extreme heat we encountered in Delhi. I know we heard over and over how hot it was going to be, but I never dreamed it would actually get up to those temperatures. I never knew that it could actually get hotter when the wind blew, let alone 10 degrees hotter with just the slightest breeze. Finally, the companies we were able to visit really piqued my interest throughout the trip. From Target's mirror image campus to Infosys' resort of a campus, it was truly amazing to see the places that these companies have built over in India. The business culture was also much different than the US, but the Indian people have made it their own and clearly have been successful. Last but not least, never forget the Bak Bak Bar. Thank you everyone for all of the memories, it's been a wonderful trip!
When I first heard of the term ERP, or Enterprise Resource System, all I really understood about it was how ERP systems are extremely expensive to implement and only the largest of companies utilize their products. Throughout all of IDSC 3001, I never really understood what an ERP company really did. I haven't taken the ERP course yet either, so I haven't seen an ERP system in use either. Our visit to SAP really cleared up exactly what the big players in the ERP market really do and what each company's strengths are in the field. I felt that while our trip to SAP probably was the shortest in time, it had the most information on what the company really does and what SAP is doing to continually grow its company. The presenter did a wonderful job explaining how SAP is stronger in its applications provided to its customers, whereas Oracle, SAP's main competitor, is very strong in database structures, and not so much in applications. I really enjoyed learning about the movements towards cloud-based information storage and consulting that SAP has done in recent years. Out of all the companies we visited, I would pick SAP as the one I would like to work for the most in my future.
Before we went to India, my only knowledge of India food was of the delicious curry that I had gotten from Spice (great restaurant by the way if anyone is in Burnsville or Lakeville!). I knew it was going to be a vital part on how my experience in India went, so I hoped for the best that my body would be able to cope with the heat that most Indian food came with. In short, it didn't. The food for the first week was bearable, but after a week of the same foods my stomach was practically begging for some sort of greasy, fried food. The normal foods that I ate at most meals were oddly spiced chicken, which I usually found multiple bones in, and lots of rice and random sauces that I did not know the ingredients of. The fact that we had buffets for most of the meals had its pros and cons. I felt that all of the food was similar in the end so it was tough to try new things, but if I did find something that I liked. The one food that I consistently felt comfortable eating was the naan, because screwing up bread is pretty hard to do. One thing that I found really interesting was how much effort that goes in to making the food. The fact that it took us about 4 hours to complete our meal with 14 of us helping out the chef made me really respect the amount of time most Indians put into their food. In our cooking class, it was amazing to see how much experience it must take to have all of the ingredients and spices put in at the right amounts, especially when cooking for such large groups. Overall, I am glad I experienced the Indian cuisine, but nothing can beat a juicy, American burger in the end.
Study abroad in
It had been such a long time that I had an active social activity outside of a family boundary. Although I go to school, my main activity is within the family boundary. So, I was worried how to interact with other students I go to
While I had a lot of fun, I also experienced both side of
I don't think that I can be happy if I had to live even without a pair of shoes, but the speaker's comment made me think about greed. I realized that many of my satisfactions come from how much I have more than others. I have a healthy and happy family, house, car, and most of all; I have an ability to do what I want to do. After seeing happy people in
Overall, going to
Between the cold weather and a much slower schedule now that I am back in Minnesota, I almost feel like our trip to India never happened. It is so much quieter, not just because of a lack of traffic and constant movement, but because I don't have 13 other people around me constantly. The latter part is something I actually miss a lot; we really had such a great group that made the experiences in India - both the highs (Taj Mahal, Target Presentations, site visits) and not so great parts (heat, long bus rides, giant rats, funky smells) - all the more exciting.
It is hard to believe that just a week ago we were literally on the other side of the world. I feel like we were finally settling in as we already had to board the plane to go back to the States. That being said, we really packed a lot in to the two weeks and made the most of our visit. I really feel like I saw some of the growth and development in India (especially in Bangalore) that I read about in India Becoming and was able to taste a hint of it from the insides of different international firms that we visited. Our experience at Christ University also helped to paint a fuller picture through guest lectures and cultural events prepared by the students. Specifically, it was really great to connect with our student guides, Taher and Aishwarya. They contributed so much feeling to our trip, making it feel less like a tour of India to more of an interactive visit with friends. Overall, I felt that Christ University was incredibly welcoming and hospitable, and I loved the time that we spent there.
Leaving India, I think I bring back a bit of a new perspective on travelling and an excitement about learning more about the country. At times my comfort level was challenged whether it be because of lack of hygiene, pollution or food issues, but I really learned the importance of positivity and gratitude for what I have and the opportunity to travel. Keeping these values and good-humored travelling companions in tow, I feel like I can adjust and make due nearly anywhere. Obviously we weren't roughing it by any means, but our India trip has me geared up to come back again and to explore new parts of the country (maybe not in such nice conditions) in the not-so-distant future. Lastly, our trip has gotten me excited for my program in Copenhagen and has me looking forward to where my studies in Diversity and Change Management may take me. In India, it was very apparent that intercultural understanding and communication is central to the success of any international business. These experiences reaffirmed my interest and drive towards connecting culture with business in my career, and I look forward to see where this path will lead.