Due to limited access to internet, Erin asked me to share this with our readers.
A big hello from India! I’ve just finished the official part of my McCombs Global Connections trip, and now I’m joining 6 of my classmates on a trip to Kerala for some safari and houseboat experiences. I’ll admit that after the last ten days, I can use some time to process everything and relax a bit before hitting the books again on Monday. But I digress…
I knew before coming to McCombs that I would visit India within a few years. Therefore, as soon as the opportunity to visit through a Global Connections trip came up, I took it. The infamous Professor Doggett was the lead faculty and my friend Rohit was the second year planning the trip. Those two + India = ensured amazing trip. As I look back at the past ten days, I realize how much of an understatement that is. I was certain that I would have an amazing experience, form stronger bonds with my classmates, and see places I had never seen before. I had no idea I would get to know this country from the perspectives of entrepreneurs, CEOs, students, think tanks, locals, and alumni. These perspectives are what made going to India with McCombs an experience unlike any other I have had. This wasn’t an exotic vacation to an emerging country. This was a chance to broaden my perspectives and forever change my outlook and my future.
I’ve kept a daily journal, but as a summary I can say that this trip has been a balance of business and tourism. We visited four cities (New Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai), saw a ton of sites (India Gate, Taj Mahal, Ghandi’s Ashram, temples, monuments, wells, etc…), and visited some amazing businesses (PTC India, IndiGo Airlines, Apollo Hospitals, Bombay Stock Exchange, Cushman & Wakefield, Gateway House, Amul Dairy) and equally amazing schools (IIMA, the top MBA program in Asia, and Lend-A-Hand India, a non-profit that teaches rural schoolchildren skills to enhance their life opportunities.) I have been constantly inspired and amazed by the people we have met, the things we’ve seen, and the plans for the future.
At the same time, I have been brought to tears at the layers of poverty, trash, and disrepair throughout the country. Even so, from my very limited perspective, people still seem happy. I saw a family living on the street, playing together and smiling as if everything they ever needed was right there with them. This makes me hopeful.
India is a place of such contrast that you can’t help but feel a need to make things better here. Our alumni in India are already doing just that. I want to be a part of it too.
I knew I would love my classmates and my global connections experience. I didn’t know I would fall in love with India. I am so thankful that the Global Connections trip helped me realize how incredible this country is.