Leave UR Mark gets many applications from business students who want to gain work experience in India’s fast growing economy. Here we interview Texas from the United States about his experience interning in India! Business students will learn what working in a different culture is like and how it can help them be more adaptable in today’s growing global workforce.
What was a typical day like for you as a business intern in India?
A typical day at the office consisted of a few marketing activities, research on some products and data collection from some clients. I had to address the issue that clients had, and turn around and design a marketing plan that would be effective. Most of the clients had problems attracting customers and wanted someone to help them create ideas to draw people in and ultimately generate revenue.
How do you see the Indian business eco-system?
I think there’s tremendous room for growth in a number of different sectors of Indian business. Marketing and consulting are definitely among them. Thanks to the work ethic of the people, and a newfound economic infrastructure, the country is seeing bounds of economic growth, and the cities are densely populated. These people within these cities are seeing a new array of wealth, and new opportunities are coming from that. The country is developing rapidly and extremely well, from tourism to agriculture. In the next generation, I wouldn’t be surprised if India became a world-leading economic power.
How can interns prepare themselves better when they go abroad to a new country?
The best way to prepare myself would have been to learn the customs and traditions of everyday life in a foreign country. For example, for my first couple days, my coworkers looked at me a little curiously when I ate. I’m left handed, and I found out that it was because I was eating mostly with my left hand, which isn’t commonplace. I also should’ve prepped for the diet. The huge array of spices and cuisines was foreign to me, and it took about a week or so to get used to.
What are the top 3 lessons you learned about while interning abroad?
The top 3 lessons I learned from interning in India are 1: Business practices are very different from country to country, 2: a good relationship with a client is more important than the idea you can give them, and 3: be creative when coming up with value for clients. India showed me how important it really is to treat your clients with respect and truly give them the advice and direction that they need. In the U.S. business is very shallow in comparison. Never do people really care about each other; there may be phone calls but no relationships beyond the numbers. In India, however, my boss went directly to his clients to consult with them. Rarely did he only communicate on email with anyone. He got to know people on a personal level, and that’s a really important concept that got left behind in the grand scheme of things in the U.S.
Why do you think business students should go abroad?
I really think this is an important internship for business students. It’s rare that a large company isn’t multinational these days, and there’s nothing that will prepare students for a foreign community like being immersed in their everyday practices. Just taking a rickshaw to work everyday gave me a glimpse on the large scale that common businesses have on the Indian economy. Two of the largest restaurant chains were American, the clothes were common in the U.S., and the largest businesses in various industries, like accounting, were the same as the U.S. This internship was such an eye-opening experience that I believe that you’d really be selling yourself short if you didn’t visit a foreign country as a business student.
What advice do you have for future interns?
For future interns, I suggest having an open mind. Indian business practices vary differently from a country like the U.S. where I came from, but remember that’s not a bad thing. In fact that’s why you’re there, to learn what business in another country is like. I found that Indian business is surprisingly relaxed. Clients and professionals alike may be late, or they may have to cancel last minute, and both of those aren’t viewed in a negative light due to the culture. Relationships between clients and professionals were also really important. My boss treated every one of his clients as if they were his close friends. At first it seemed a little weird, informal and unprofessional but I realized that’s just how things are in this country.
Want to apply for this internship? Learn more about it below.