Gaining global experience
Through a unique summer fellowship opportunity, Kellogg students help to advance technology and innovation in India By Sara Langen
8/5/2011 - There are many educational programs in India that allow MBA students to tour companies and explore economic development issues.
But the fellowships offered this summer through the Kellogg Center for Research in Technology & Innovation are unique.
“The Kellogg students go beyond normal interactions,” says Sejal Desai, the founder and CEO of SevaYatra, a social venture that organizes service-project opportunities in India. “We get them involved in the process; we help them engage so they gain experiences that most people miss out on. They spend the entire 10-week period working and living in a global environment.”
SevaYatra connects companies and universities in the United States with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other entities in India. Kellogg teamed with the organization this year to create the fellowship program, which they hope will become an annual opportunity for Kellogg students.
Through the partnership, six second-year Kellogg MBA fellows are spending 10 weeks this summer in India. The fellowships include both academic and experiential components: seminars with technology and development leaders, and internships at NGOs and social enterprises that apply technology in creative ways to improve education, employment, governance and healthcare in India.
CRTI fellow Bryan Lee ’11 says his work with agribusiness private equity firm I-Farms Ventures has been particularly rewarding.
“My project has been great,” Lee says. “I’m working on a financial inclusion research project, and I truly feel that the work I am doing has the potential to have a positive social impact.”
The students have also had the opportunity to partner with students from IMT Ghaziabad, a local business school. Lee says the fellows are experiencing India from an insider’s perspective.
“Culturally, it has been a lot of fun,” he says. “We have taken every opportunity to explore and try new things. Being here with my classmates has been a good learning experience. We share our challenges at the workplace and outside of it, and together learn much more than we could have alone.”