Executive MBA students pay ten-day visit to India.

Participants in the Executive MBA trip to India got to see one of the world’s most famous monuments: the Taj Mahal.

Twenty-six students, 24 in the current Executive MBA cohort in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University and two Executive MBA alumni; Sumit Kundu, Ingersoll-Rand professor in international business and faculty director of the program; and Clifford Perry, associate dean of academic affairs and undergraduate programs, recently toured Mumbai (Bombay), Bangalore, and New Delhi, India. The ten-day junket combined visits to local companies and opportunities for sightseeing in a country that is rapidly becoming an economic superpower.

Now mandatory in the Executive MBA program, the international trip is turning out to be a major selling point, at least from the perspective of two cohort members.

“I thought an international trip was an interesting twist to the learning process,” said Cathy M. Pareto (BA ’95), senior financial advisor, Investor Solutions, Inc. “We were told that the trip would give us real world experience. I had never seen this type of learning strategy, and since I had never been able to travel abroad as an undergraduate, the idea really drew me in.”

She returned very impressed by what she saw of the business environment.

“India is gaining power very quickly,” she said. “The potential for outsourcing and off-shoring in my industry is huge.”

“The mandatory trip sealed the deal for me,” said Matthew Millheiser, managing director of Paravel, a small IT consulting company. “India is the IT hotspot in the world, and as an IT professional, I wanted to learn about their best practices.”

One such opportunity occurred at Infosys.

“They’ve developed a global distribution model for application development that’s their standard operating procedure,” he said. “It was absolutely eye-opening for me, and I can apply what I learned to the way I do business.”

For Kundu, who wanted to showcase his country, the trip was a personal and professional success. He made several trips to India to arrange logistics, including lining up appointments with senior management of public and private companies in each destination, as well as securing press opportunities.

“We had huge media coverage of our trip in major financial papers in India,” he said.

Unfortunately, the planned session with the president of India did not materialize due to the national emergency in Mumbai—flash floods during the third week in July, whose devastating effects closely paralleled those of Hurricane Katrina. However, he promised a future meeting, should another Executive MBA group visit.

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