Friday, January 29, 2016

Guest Post: Eirik's MBA Trip to India

This week we have a special guest posting on the international student blog. Eirik graduated from PLU in Spring 2015 however continued on with the School of Business to complete a Masters Degree in Business Administration. He has held two jobs while attending PLU, working both in Dining & Catering Services and as an assistant in the Scandinavian Shop section of the Garfield Bookstore. His Masters program concludes in June and he is actively searching for positions that may allow him to do an OPT year upon his graduation. This January Eirik and the MBA students accompanied their professor Gaurav Gupta to India. Read more about his experience below!
Hey everyone, my name is Eirik and I am a graduate student from Norway. I am currently an MBA candidate at PLU and in this J-term I studied abroad with my MBA cohort. The MBA program requires students to study abroad under their Global Business Perspective course, and this year we could choose between India and Costa Rica and I chose India.
It was only a 10 days trip in India but we learned a lot and visited a lot of different places all around India from the southern tip and all the way to the north next to the Himalayas. The purpose of this trip was to experience the differences in business culture compared to USA but most important the difference between American and Indian culture in general.
The one thing that you need to know about me is that I love food so the first thing I looked to experience was the cuisine. I always have been a fan of Indian food and I always though food like Tikka Masala and Tandoori Chicken was all over India but I was wrong. India is a country with different cultures and every different state has its own food. For instance food in southern part of India use more rice while in the North they use more potatoes, and they do not eat beef since cows are considered holy in the Hindu religion. Food such as Tikka Masala and Tandoori are famous dishes from Punjab province. Also another fun fact is that most of the food I saw and most of the people I meet where vegetarian which is quite interesting and good for the society.
Well that is enough about my passion for food. We did learn other things as well, for instance according to our first business lecture India has over 45 languages and 300 dialects (some sources indicates that they even have more languages and dialects.) One thing that I notice is that the culture is quite calmer and relaxing in India compared to USA. For instance things take time which is not good for an impatient Norwegian such as me. I call it Indian time where things are supposed to take an hour takes 2 hours or more. But I envy them though; they are appreciating the time more than what we do while we are always in a hurry.
Eirik at the Taj Mahal!
Other thing that I notice is all the poverty that we saw. Many people live in shacks covered with dirt and trash and I remember that we said that how we feel sorry for them, but the weird thing that surprised us is how happy they looked. Even though they lived in terrible conditions, they were able to appreciate what they had and where happy. If we compare it to the western world we like to complain about everything we have and do not have.
This trip has been amazing, I have seen and learned a lot, much more than what I have been mention here and I would definitely go back to India and see the rest of the country and meet all the wonderful people again. If you have any questions about my experience in India or my experience with the MBA program at PLU please leave a comment below and I will try my best to answer you!