MICA has an International Immersion Program for its second-year students. The program focuses on Digital, Marketing, Analytics and Communication subject learning in the US university classrooms and industry which includes live case studies as well. The students have returned with valuable academic learning and life-transforming experiences, one of which is shared below by a PGP 2 student - Swati Sharma.
I went for the 15-day International Immersion Program to Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. It was an overall enriching experience for me not just in terms of a CV pointer but also in terms of life. It helped me expand my horizon and think big. I got an opportunity to look at the overall business and marketing environment in the US and immerse myself into their culture. People, in general, were very welcoming. In short, the trip has had an intangible value addition that I wish to cherish all throughout my life.
For keeping this article short and simple, I have enlisted the bright and the grim sides of the trip.
Let me begin with the positives first:
1. The itinerary was well defined in terms of planning and execution. We were given enough breathers in between sessions for our interest-based individual explorations into the city.
2. It was not just an exchange program but an ‘immersion’ where we got to experience the life of an MSU student – right from using their classrooms and recreational spaces to their fests which were organized outside the campus premise.
3. We were assigned live projects based upon our interest areas. This was a crucial part of the program. Mentored by the faculty/ PHD Scholars of MSU, we worked on actual industry issues faced by MSU and gave our recommendations for the same. It broadened our perspectives and gave us a chance to explore the US market in terms of customer preferences and industry practices prevalent in the business world.
4. It helped us understand the cultural nuances between the Indian and the Western way of living. One conspicuous aspect was reflected in terms of the festive fervour around Halloween and how each shop had a separate section dedicated to it. Furthermore, the kind of goods stocked in the retail markets (the presence of guns and hard liquor in Walmart) left us amazed after spending one year in the hinterlands of Ahmedabad.
5. Industry visits were a major hit among the students. We were left spellbound after seeing a truck being assembled in 53 seconds at the Ford Factory!! It was like the supply chain textbook coming to life. They even screened a movie at the Ford theatre, which reminded us of Iron Man and his tales of technological advancements.
6. The best part of the program was that it was not limited to academics; we were taken on architectural tours and cruises. We even got the opportunity to attend the Michigan parliament in session! From the deserted streets of East Lansing to the hustle bustle of Chicago where we almost lost each other in the crowd, we experienced the extremes of the country and city lives.
Here are some not so favourable aspects:
1. It was a very expensive Immersion Program if we compare it with other B-schools.
2. The duration was very short. It was like having two sips of your favourite brownie shake and craving for more!
The International Immersion has made me richer in terms of the stories, the fun and the wonderful memories that I shared with a bunch of 11 other people. It was not only an opportunity to network but also a sweet attempt to move beyond networking and build connections. I am happy and grateful to my parents for helping me append this amazing episode in my book of precious memories.