Bangalore traffic

India has achieved an average GDP growth rate of more than 8 percent annually since 2006, transforming it into the 10th-largest economy in the world. (Photo by Heather Owens)

Driving Growth

India internship program merges consulting with culture

On most major streets in Bangalore, the so-called “Silicon Valley of India,” traffic is a busy contrast of old and new as bicycles, pushcarts, camels and wandering cows compete for progress with motorcycles, scooters, auto rickshaws, trucks and passenger cars.

For the 65 Purdue students who have completed the International Internship India program over the last five years, the daily commute to TVS Motor Co.’s operations outside the city has been a reliable barometer of that progress.

“The infrastructure and socioeconomic conditions in India are still evolving, but the changes from year to year have been dramatic,” says Mary Pilotte, managing director of the Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises (DCMME) and Global Supply Chain Management Initiative (GSCMI), which host the program.

“When we first visited in 2006, it took two hours every day just to get to work at TVS. Now, instead of multi-lane dirt roads leading out of the city, there’s a beautiful toll highway. It’s a 45-minute drive. There can still be traffic jams, but it’s usually no worse than most large U.S. cities.”

What hasn’t changed is the program’s mission to provide students with real-life consulting level projects that simultaneously immerse them in a foreign culture. “We don’t just educate our students,” Pilotte says. “We guide them into becoming global citizens.”

Expanding borders

The Krannert School has been formally preparing its graduates for the international marketplace for more than a dozen years through a unique partnership with GISMA Business School, giving master’s students the option of studying in Hannover, Germany, for one module.

Today, students can choose also from specialized programs –– often referred to as “Global Weeks” –– that allow them to visit China, France, Italy, Hungary, Spain or Taiwan over spring break without having to increase their time in school. Each program has a particular focus and includes both educational and cultural elements.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4