In America, we tend to take a lot of things for granted — clean drinking water, safe infrastructure, cheeseburgers — but for 15 Mays Business School students, this will no longer be the case.

“India is gonna be a superpower soon,” says Katie Keech ’13, a sophomore business and management major at Texas A&M, in a recent interview in the Deccan Herald about her international field trip to Bangalore and Mysore, India.

Mays students at Reid and Taylor (India) Ltd.
Mays students at Reid & Taylor (India) Ltd.

Students were invited to participate in a two-week study abroad program in early January. Julian Gaspar, director of the Center for International Business Studies, conducted the trip in which students traveled to major business centers in southern India.

These Aggies blogged from overseas about visiting Cisco’s new $50 million campus in Bangalore, marveling at the center’s shockingly innovative technology.

“My favorite was the video conferencing room,” says Laura Stoma ’12, a junior accounting major. “Supposedly Mays has one of these systems, too.”

The group also visited the SDMIMD Institute in Mysore, and Infosys, where they dined in a floating restaurant and visited a training center that seemed to Kathryn Tears ’12, a junior accounting major, like “a mix between the Capitol Building and the Vatican.”

The Aggies took corporate field trips to Reid and Taylor and SPI, two companies whose retail work overseas has reached global proportions—”including Macy’s,” says Tears, “one of my favorites!”

Luckily, the trip wasn’t all work. They kept themselves busy and their heart rates up by scaling hundreds of stairs at the temple in Shravanabelagola, making mad dashes dodging traffic in Bangalore and riding elephants at the palace in Mysore.

In addition to studying Indian business practices, the students also found time to explore the culture of their host country.
In addition to studying Indian business practices, the students also found time to explore the culture of their host country.

The students enjoyed a little taste of home when they needed it most, too. After days of sampling exotic local cuisine, the president of Cisco in Bangalore hosted the Aggies at his house for dinner that was, according to Stoma, “more American than Indian,” giving their taste buds a break from the country’s rich spices.

This is only one of many examples of the compassion and hospitality that the Aggies received on their journey overseas.

“Everyone in India was so helpful and willing to give,” Tears posted. “For a group of people that in general does not have a lot of resources with which to give, their willingness to give everything they had, to a foreign stranger no less, touched me.”

Students also took note of the quiet dignity the people of India possess. Akin to our own Aggie pride, the citizens they encountered overseas did not boast about their own compassion and development, but rather leapt at the chance to share it with their new foreign friends.

“India is growing. India is awake. India is finally standing up for itself,” says Tears. “It has the energy and drive and the determination to make something of itself.”

Upon their return, each student will submit a 10-page research paper on a specific aspect of India’s business/cultural environment and make a presentation to the group in April.

“India is not for the faint of heart or the weak. If you want an adventure, go!” Tears urges, “but remember, do not pet the monkeys, or you will get rabies!”

To read more about the students’ trip overseas, visit their blog at maysblogs.tamu.edu/india.