A Journey Like No Other Summer Exchange Program

We’re blessed to encounter various opportunities at various phases in our life, whether we realize it or simply pass by it. However, the experience we derive out of an opportunity is what makes all the difference.

In a globalized world like ours today, it’s imperative that young professionals like ourselves, entering the workforce are sensitized to the diversity that exists in our professional spaces. It’s crucial we mold ourselves into informed global citizens who garner experience and skills necessary to succeed in international and cross- cultural economies.
Along with focusing on ways to optimize our bandwidths, as an MBA graduate its vital that we focus on learning how to interact with people from other cultures and become well- equipped future leaders, able to address issues across borders.

My semester at EM Normandie has taught me exactly this. I chose to pursue my PGDM from IMT Hyderabad, a key reason being the numerous opportunities the university provides. The International Student Exchange Program was one of those opportunities available at IMT that motivated me to apply. From a plethora of universities made available by the college, I inclined my preference to a university that helped me explore subjects that weren’t part of the curriculum pre-determined for most first year MBA students across the country. In this semester I was able to explore subjects like Logistics and Purchasing, Management Consulting, a pedagogic project on Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Event Management etc. which moved beyond the structure of the first-year PGDM course. I was able to explore these unique subjects whilst living and working with people from various parts of the globe and understand their outlook and perspective on the problem statements given to us. From discussing on topics like religious beliefs in different countries, changing role of women in the work place, to the importance of micro-financing in remote areas and ways to contribute.  The possibility to experience such a unique learning experience helped me attain an insight into the way other cultures propagate education and learning that forms the rationale of their citizens.

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Not only did my perception as a student develop through this journey, but also my perspective towards everyday life. We are blessed to live in a comfortable cushioned lifestyle with easy solutions to our everyday life in our country. However, the exchange experience pushed me right outside this comfort zone, to experience a life of living independently, being responsible as well as adjusting to a new environment.
The discomfort of having to not only acclimatize oneself to the climate but also to the culture, lifestyle, diversity and difference makes one resilient and shatters stereotypes engraved within our edified outlooks.
The barriers posed by factors like financial need, disabilities, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity are slowly fading in the world around us and an experience like this helped me discover the global opinion on these issues.

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This journey has been a life changing experience, from discovering hidden treasures around Europe to discovering a treasure trove of appreciation towards the unique opportunity provided to me. I carry forward all that I have learnt from this adventure in hopes of becoming not only a post graduate professional by the end of my impending second year at IMT, but also a globally sensitized citizen.

About the author,

    Avantika Singh Deo

Class of 2020

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