Fridays from the Frontline: Student Perspective – Global [email protected]
The Center for Global Management at UCLA Anderson offers MBA students several opportunities to expand their cultural horizons as well as learn about distinct business environments firsthand. In particular, the Global Immersion Courses introduce MBA students to international companies and cultures, first on campus through three courses, then in-country for a week filled with guest speakers, panel discussions, company and startup visits and more.
Current Anderson MBA student Kevin Ma took to the UCLA Anderson blog to share takeaways from his experience in India as part of the Global Immersion Program. Read on for his story.
Student Perspective: Global Immersion @ UCLA Anderson
by Kevin Ma Anderson MBA ’20
Traveling is no doubt a privilege and an enriching experience – and while in business school, there are endless opportunities to do so. As the pace of globalization accelerates, one of my goals of attending business school was to broaden my perspectives to truly understand how to be an effective future leader of a global or multinational company.
While I’ve achieved this goal in a multitude of ways during my time thus far at Anderson, including cultivating close friendships with international classmates and taking classes focused on global management, I took it a step further last month by participating in a weeklong Global Immersion experience in India with 40 of my classmates, led by Prof. Romain Wacziarg.
Managed through the Center for Global Management, Global Immersion is a two-quarter class that allows students to first learn about doing business in another country while on campus, and then transition into an in-country immersive experience of company visits, networking with local Anderson alumni, and cultural sightseeing. With 31 destinations across the globe, Global Immersion at Anderson is truly a unique opportunity to study abroad and witness the intersection of business, government, and society in action.
Prior to visiting Mumbai and Hyderabad, Prof. Wacziarg led us through a few interactive lectures focused on both the macroeconomic factors that have influenced India’s past, current, and future development as well as a deep dive into four key sectors in India: financial services, technology, entertainment, and biotech.
Once we touched down in India, we visited 15 companies in the span of a week, while overeating our fill of dosas, dal, and gulab jamun. In addition, we were able to attend a special lecture hosted by a professor from the Indian School of Business. Despite many infrastructure, inequality, and environmental challenges India faces, I was humbled and inspired by the country’s optimism for the future – especially given that half of India’s 1.3 billion people are under 20 years old. I also learned that many sectors like financial services are experiencing technology leapfrogging in India, and financial inclusion will be key to India’s future growth given the majority of the country’s population is still living in rural areas.
Ultimately, my week in India has instilled in me a greater sense of empathy, a desire to return and explore more deeply, and a more inclusive approach to managing and leading global teams in the future. While Global Immersion has been a relatively short part of my Anderson experience, the experience has had a disproportionately large impact on me as I prepare to transition back into the workforce later this year.
About Kevin: Kevin Ma (‘20) is a 2nd year at Anderson with a background in management consulting. While at Anderson, Kevin has concentrated across many disciplines, including strategy, marketing, technology, and social impact. Outside of school, Kevin cares deeply about mentoring others, building community through food, and experiencing new cultures through traveling around the world.