Study trip to India planned

Study trip to India planned

Rachel Ramey (left) and Sheela Kailasam (right), both trip coordinators, stand in front of the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. Photo Courtesy of Rachel Ramey

The trip, which is open to STEM Path to MBA students regardless of classification, will engage students in innovation projects in India. The program itself allows students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math to earn their master’s degree in business administration with one additional year, resulting in a five-year graduation plan with the University.

Robert Morgan, executive director for Innovative Initiatives in the Culverhouse College of Commerce, has directed the STEM to MBA program since its beginning in 2011. The trip to India this summer has been the project of Morgan and some of his students over the course of the last year. Inspiration for the trip came to students after they read “Reverse Innovation” as a summer reading project in 2013 and listened to the book’s co-author, Vijay Govindarajan, speak at the University in the fall of 2013.

“Dr. Govindarajan came in to talk to us about ‘Reverse Innovation,’” said Rachel Ramey, a junior majoring in civil engineering. “We had read his book about innovation in India and how in order to develop products for developing countries, you actually have to go.”

Ramey is studying abroad in Colombia this spring. She said she Skypes regularly with Morgan to discuss plans for the trip.

Morgan said STEM students can benefit from visiting developing countries.

“These are students that are all coming from STEM and healthcare backgrounds,” Morgan said. “We don’t really have national markets anymore; we have global markets. They’re going to be working in some kind of global role in their companies at some point. They need to understand how the world works outside of the United States, so this is going to be a 
great experience.”

Joey Weed, a junior majoring in economics and math, occasionally joins Skype calls with Morgan and Ramey. Weed, who is assisting with planning the trip, said he is looking forward to putting the innovative strategies and lessons he learned at the University into practice.

“The experience we’ve been cultivating the past two to three years will be critical as we travel to India for this program,” Weed said. “These classes are under a variety of experienced professors.”

As juniors, Ramey and Weed said they are in the process of applying for the 
MBA program.

Applicants for the STEM Path to MBA program apply the summer before their freshman year and must take an hour and a half STEM business class every semester for the four years of their degree. STEM to MBA students then apply to the MBA program during their junior year and begin their masters work online the 
following summer.

The students begin their programs July 13 and will return August 3. Currently, 14 of the 24 spots are filled. STEM to MBA students interested in the study abroad program can contact Robert Morgan at rmorgan@culverhouse.ua.edu. The application should be completed through Capstone International as soon as possible.

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