I am currently sitting on a plane in transit from Bangalore to New Delhi in India, and I have to say, I am assuredly in an environment that I have never experienced before.
To give you a bit of an update, I drove home from Chicago last Thursday (yes, 12 hours later), packed on Friday, and was en route to London and Bangalore, India Saturday/Sunday/Monday/I had no idea what day it was at any point. After arriving at 6:45 in the morning on some day in India, it has been a whirlwind of cultural and business experiences ever since.
I have been asked multiple times what exactly I am doing over in India for the second part of my summer, and I think I can finally give an honest answer now that I have been here for around 5 days (or 6 or 7, depending on what day we really landed, still not sure). I am with the Kenan-Flagler GLIMPSE program, where myself and 19 other students have an unbelievable opportunity to get a first-hand encounter with all that is India, both with culture and the business world. Thus far, we have gotten to visit some of the highlights of Bangalore, at the same time, each day we get the opportunity to visit various companies in the area and learn about their concepts and how the fit with the global perspective that the Kenan-Flagler schooling pushes us towards.
Hence, we have been a multitude of places, but some of the highlights have been to the General Electric headquarters in India, as well as an SKS Microfinance branch in an outlying village. I do not want to bore you with everything that we have done (not yet at least), but it has most definitely been one part culture learning, one part business learning, and one part trip of a lifetime.
What I am shocked with is the stark contrast of the world that India is. So far, we have stayed in an unbelievably nice hotel in the heart of downtown Bangalore. Yet I can look out my window and see people washing clothes in the streets. A walk around any corner will provide you with a glimpse at a luxury car or a cow lying in trash, which is definitely hard to wrap one’s mind around. It has made me much more thankful of the blessed world that is Chapel Hill, yet I feel that I have been personally challenged in opening my mind to thinking outside of both the U.S. as well as our culture.
Tomorrow we get to visit the Taj Mahal (not all business out here), so be expecting some pictures soon. You can thank my father for instilling a pride of a copious amount of picture taking; I only wish I could throw up a whole album of them on here for you. I have kept in mind this whole time that the Eve Carson people have made this possible, thus I cannot say thank you enough. If I could somehow transfer all of my memories and senses over to everybody, it would be those of much gratitude and appreciation of this chance. There will be more thank-yous to come, but I wanted to let everybody back home know that I am still thinking about them. Even though I am technically nine and a half hours in the future to North Carolina time.