International immersion is an integral part of the PGDM (Executive), a full-time AICTE approved and AACSB accredited 15-month program at IMT Ghaziabad. We look at immersion through the eyes of both the institute as well as the alumni.
What is International Immersion?
International immersion is an integral part of the PGDM (Executive), a full-time AICTE approved and AACSB accredited 15-month program at IMT Ghaziabad, aimed at high-performing professionals with work experience.
The immersion, in association with leading business schools across the world, helps the participants develop a global perspective. The 4-6 week Global Career Accelerator (GCA) is held with specific customization focus, at one of IMTs European partners.
An IMT Ghaziabad spokesperson told OneYearMBA.co.in that as per the structure of the PGDM Executive program, the students spend one term with the partner institution as part of their curriculum.
The students gained awareness about the highly competitive business scenario in Europe– how various European companies (majorly Swedish) function to stay ahead of the competition.
The students of the previous batch had been to EM Normandie, France, IESEG School of Management, Paris and Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.
Asked about the experiences of the students at the immersion, the spokesperson said they found it to be “an excellent opportunity to get exposure on international business settings, They are able to better understand and appreciate the diversity of consumer groups.
“They are able to build up an understanding of the global marketing environment and learn different approaches to handle employee performance,’ she added.
About the students’ key learnings or takeaways, she talked about data visualization using Tableau, a data analytics and visualization tool. They also learn about expanding into international markets, that is, market entry strategies, competitive matrix, market attractiveness, stages of globalization etc.
The students gained awareness about the highly competitive business scenario in Europe– how various European companies (majorly Swedish) function to stay ahead of the competition. They also received fair learning on major corporate entities such as Ericsson, IKEA and Volvo.
The students are awarded scores while participating in the immersion modules. Asked if any changes or improvements were being contemplated in the immersion programs, she replied in the negative. “The immersion program in the current form is best suited to the program architecture. We are not contemplating any changes,’ she added.
Alumni Views on the International Immersion
IMT PGDM Executive alum Vineet Sreedharan, currently leads the Business Process Re-engineering and Knowledge Management verticals in the IT department at Trident Group, a billion dollar textile conglomerate.
“The immersion program is a game changer as it provides an experience of living a culture that was hitherto unknown to us. Apart from broadening our understanding of the world around us, it also teaches us various facets of cross-cultural collaboration and connects with technologies and practices that are still to be implemented large scale in our country”
He has an overall work experience of 6.5 years with a special focus on strategizing and implementing digital transformation projects, describes the international immersion as the “cherry on top for the 1.5-year course”.
“It was an approximately 40-day program as part of the international immersion term and thanks to IMT’s strong network and partnership with the best B-schools in the world, we managed to visit a fantastic business school called EM Normandie, in Normandy, France,” he said.
“Six courses were included in the program, which included cross-cultural visits to important places in and around Normandy such as Etretat and Mont Saint-Michel. Since the costs were included in the course fee and IMT helped take care of the Visa and stay formalities, it helped us a lot during the travel and transition to an international environment,” he added.
“The course was well structured and taught by eminent faculty from the school. There were well-placed breaks in between, which allowed us the opportunity to explore a few more countries around France, such as Spain, Belgium and Netherlands,” he said.
Asked about his favourite course in the international immersion, Vineet said two courses practically stood out. These were Brand Management by Prof Olivier Kovarski, Director of Executive Education & Associate Professor in Marketing and ‘Doing Business in Europe’ by Prof Eleonore Mendel, lecturer in Intercultural Marketing and Management and a Consultant in cross-cultural marketing.
Asked about the takeaways from the immersion experience, he said, “The immersion program is a game changer as it provides an experience of living a culture that was hitherto unknown to us. Apart from broadening our understanding of the world around us, it also teaches us various facets of cross-cultural collaboration and connects with technologies and practices that are still to be implemented large scale in our country.”
“For example, we got to witness the best of eco-friendly transport such as the large scale preference for cycles at Bruges and Amsterdam and the best implementation of smart cities through the use of smart cards at Barcelona,” he said.
Vineet said the exposure to international students and working methods “changed our understanding and helped us appreciate the importance of several things. These include punctuality–how Europeans treated time as money and how essential it is to be on time at the right venue in the right manner.
“Secondly, the work-life balance–how necessary it is to close work so that adequate time could be spent at home with loved ones. Thirdly, environment consciousness-reducing wastage and promoting environment-friendly ways to commute,” he added.
Asked about what advice he would give to students to make the best use of international immersion, he said, “Keep all inhibitions aside and fully soak yourself in the international immersion program, it is always worth it. And a word of caution. Respect the country’s rules as well as give equal importance to learn too, as there would always be a lot of takeaways that you gain.”
For MBA aspirants and current students, his message is to be “A constant learner lifelong and constantly upgrade your skills. Technology is adapting at a fast pace and we must learn to keep up with it.
“You have to keep networking with people, share your knowledge and help them through good deeds as a way of giving back to the world.
Alumni Views on the PGDM Executive Program
Vineet Sreedharan, endorses the program for three reasons.
First, for the “wonderfully structured course curriculum”, secondly for the affordability of the program, which included one international term and thirdly, for “a fantastic faculty team and alumni network.”
Another alum, Piyush Singh, Chief Manager, Credit cards at Kotak Mahindra Bank, was in the PGDM Executive, Marketing & Information Technology 2012-13 batch.
He regrets that the international immersion facility was not there at that time, but is full of praise for the program.
Prior to enrolling for the program, Piyush, who had completed his B Tech. Production Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Surat in 2003-07, had worked as Associate System Engineer, IBM Global Services and as Senior analyst at Cerillion Technologies.
After completing PGDM, he joined ICICI bank through campus placement. About why he chose the one year program and IMT, Ghaziabad he said, “Preparing for MBA, I got decent CAT scores and looked at various options in the market. A few of my friends had done the two-year program at IMT and liked it. Since I had 5 years of work experience, a two-year program (mainly for those without work experience) would not have been suitable for me. So I chose the one year program.
“It is academically well designed, very intensive and a really good learning experience. Apart from studies, there were plenty of extra-curricular activities. I enjoyed the time spent over there and made good friends,” he added.
“It is a good opportunity for people looking to diversify their job. If you have some 5 plus years’ experience, it will help in changing over to a different work profile. You can go into the management stream and increase your salary compensation as well,” he added.