InStep is Infosys' global internship program. On the Voices @ InStep blog, interns, mentors and professors from the world’s best universities blog on careers and cultural assimilation in the Flat World, and the significance of an internship at a global company.

Main | August 2009 »

July 29, 2009

Creating tomorrow-proof students...

Today’s world simply speaks one language: Globalization. Opportunities and threats arise not only for the global economy but also for the potential stakeholders involved. The ones who are often forgotten, are the students, tomorrow’s future!

The life of a student is not comparable to that of the previous generation. The time in which you simply finish school, go to college or university, graduate and eventually get a job, are over.
Interesting quote, but what are the drivers for this? Especially in times of recession, stagnating economies and a loss of jobs, competition among graduating students increases tremendously.
For students, what does it mean? What can they do? They must simply broaden their international perspective! Who says you have to study in your home country? Who says you have to start your job in your home country? Many – and that’s a big problem.

Regarding the still very few who recognize the trend and see the importance of a future global career, what can or rather must they do? They must be different! Don’t go with the stream. Risk a difference and experience as much as you can. A Spanish studying in France, doing exchange semesters in Singapore, Mexico and Tunisia, completing internships at major companies also at international locations and eventually starting the career in one of those countries. It sure sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Not only that! This is what a student’s future looks like.

Studying hard, completing as many stays abroad as possible, as much work experience as you can and not to forget, the language and social capabilities, which should also be there. Deciding to achieve higher education is a full-time job! Those who realize this will be among the most successful. Future, here we come!

InStep, India, the world and me!

One aspect which led me to join the InStep program was the opportunity to learn and experience the Indian work culture first hand...

In my previous job, I had collaborated on many occasions with counterparts in our Indian office.  And while many Indian colleagues came to work in our Canadian office, I never had the opportunity to reciprocate the gesture.  Working at Infosys’ Bangalore campus has further opened my eyes to both the similarities and differences between the Indian and North American workplace.  From as simple as one’s daily schedule, to more complex communication practices, I have come to recognize and understand many subtleties that exist, most of which would have been impossible to learn from abroad. 

This experience has not only provided me with a deeper appreciation for the integration of culture and work, but more importantly, has equipped me with the knowledge of how to work more positively and effectively in a foreign environment.  Rather than simply acknowledging differences in working styles, it is important to know that these differences can be a tremendous insight into the underlying values and cultures of that society and can serve as an invaluable learning experience in itself. 

This experience has certainly given me a new perspective into cross-cultural collaborations and will definitely serve me well in my future work situations, wherever they may be!

Is sustainable global prosperity possible?

International science and engineering partnerships in developed and developing countries will enormously help in improving relations among countries and raise the quality of life and sustainable development in developing countries for global prosperity.

In 2004, I met the late Nobel Laureate, Richard E. Smalley (1943-2005). He named the following top ten problems of humanity over the next 50 years: 

(1) energy,

(2) water,

(3) food,

(4) environment,

(5) poverty,

(6) terrorism & war,

(7) disease,

(8) education,

(9) democracy, and (10) population.

Addressing these requires collaborative worldwide efforts.

My mission is to bring physical/social scientists, engineers, and business leaders together to address the global grand challenges. I would like to promote global quality of life and economic well-being by facilitating exchanges among the best and brightest scientists and engineers. The worldwide exchange of ideas already fuels economic growth in advanced economies and will increasingly enable less developed nations to participate in the global economy.

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