Ready, Set, Go (STEM Study Abroad in India)
It’s finally here. It has been more than a year that I have planned, budgeted, and anticipated this trip to India. Unique to the STEM Path to the MBA, I am one of ten students that are traveling to various parts of India over the next three weeks to study and apply the idea of reverse innovation. Reverse innovation is the implementation of innovation but in a somewhat backwards manor. Hence, why the use of the word reverse in the name. Rather than focusing on a developed country or area, such as the USA, for innovation, we interview and connect with an undeveloped country first. We are tasked with developing an innovated idea that improves the lifestyle of the underprivileged and undeveloped. All the while, having the ability to bring the same innovated idea to a developed market where it still holds its value.
I feel very fortunate in the fact that I have already experienced much of the world: Tanzania, Italy, St. Lucia, Cuba, Guatemala, and many places of interest in the USA. Although I was born and raised in the same city, these trips have molded and transformed my worldview into a larger picture that celebrates the ingenuity of all persons in meeting the concerns and needs of their unique culture. Although I have never ventured to the Asia or Sub-Asia region, my hope is to find this same ingenuity in the Indian people.
As I sit in the international terminal of Atlanta’s Harstfield-Jackson Airport, a rush of thoughts, feelings, and emotions come to me. I’m not exactly sure how I’m supposed to feel. I have packed and re-packed to ensure myself that I have everything I need to travel abroad. I have the necessary shots and vaccinations. All the proper documents have been applied for, received, and printed off. The list goes on and on. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a bit of a planner. At one moment, I’m filled with excitement. Yet, in another moment, I’m filled with anxiety. India is a country full of untapped potential. I feel as if India has many of the same feelings I’m experiencing currently. How can they utilize their great gifts in order to bring about positive and impactful change? It is my hope and wish that I will not feel inadequate from the vast amount of poverty in order to use my gifts to help usher in a new age of excitement and enthusiasm for the Indian people, culture, and lifestyle.