A group of 9 students (Ms. Richa Saraf, Ms. Shreya Prakash, Ms. Preeti Yadav, Mr. Jaspinder Singh, Mr. Gurpreet Singh, Mr. Avinish Jain, Mr. Shobhit Aggarwal, Mr. Shrey Aggarwal and Mr. Sikanderbor Singh Sandhu) and one faculty escort (Dr. Sandeep Nagar) visited University of California- Riverside from 25th August 2014 to 5th September 2014 to attend a 2 week intensive course on “Contemporary Business and Technology in the United States”.
Students attended a total of 10 lecture sessions with time durations of about 3 hours, 2 site visits and gave a presentation to get evaluated on the course content of this certificate program. Course instructors included very famous lecturers and professors from University of California riverside extension like Mr. Grant Doster, Mr. Patrick Millsap, Mr. Farrokh Moshiri, Mr. John Epps and Mr. Luiz Guzman. The visits included “California steel” and “Cryoquip” companies which make steel related products and heat-exchangers respectively.
The site visit to California steel was very interesting for students as they could see first-hand the process of galvanization of steel in bulk and also the process of making pipes from raw material. Students took extensive notes and interacted with their instructors at the site. They particularly noted an interesting fact that managing a scientific process is as important as the scientific work itself. The whole plant was being managed by only 1000 people whereas it would have taken more than 5000 people in a similar plant in India. Another site visit to Cryoquip was also interesting from the point of view of management as a small company like cryoquip was doing business in millions of USD by making quality product, delivering on-time and having loyal customers for the same reason.
The lectures were also very interactive and our students were praised by all instructors for being very responsive and alert towards the subject under-study. They were very eager to understand the way business is done in United States and comparing it with Indian business environment. Students also liked the instructors as they had all their session sin very interactive and activity based modes. Students were usually divided in groups and asked to discuss various topics and come up with conclusions. Students usually presented their conclusions by giving a short presentation.
During 3 holidays students visited Disneyland (Saturday), Universal studio (Sunday) and a tour of Los Angeles (Monday) where they visited Santa Monica Beach, Hollywood and Farmers market. Students did a lot of shopping from various places and were excited to taste new recipes and see new things in that part of the world. Students also interacted with a lot of locals and talked about the difference and similarity with Indian culture.
The course ended with a final presentation from all students about a topic of their choice and all of them were rated very nicely for the content and delivery. They were presented a certificate for the program and were encouraged by UCR-extension staff to come back in coming years to attend more programs and/or master programs at UCR.
To conclude, students learned a lot about American business culture and society and it was useful because as bussing engineers and managers they need an international perspective. They visited advanced technology based companies which exposed them to a very efficient scientific working environment. Interaction with other students from Japan, Korea and Iran exposed them to their contemporaries from other parts of the worlds and made them appreciated the work-culture and ethics from different societies.
Blog writer: Asstt. Professor Dr. Sandeep Nagar