You think you know all about people and their cultures until you enter a university like Purdue. There are few words that can encapsulate that overwhelming realization of the number of diverse paths which exist. And this diversity is at par when you are studying at one of the most prestigious and globally recognized Institute in the world – Purdue University. It is quite a culture shock for some, how the tiny things we take for granted don’t have any space in the lives of others. There are people like us i.e. Indians who can communicate easily whereas there are some students for whom this is the first time they have been taught in English, Engineers who tilt their heads in confusion while in conversations with the students of Accounts over the concepts of debit & credit, 21-year olds fresh out of college learning alongside people having corporate world experience of 10-12 years.
I think this diversity is one of the biggest merits of being in a truly global program – MS in Global Supply Chain Management. This global program essentially is a preparation for a life in the corporate world, where one can change locations often and be placed in areas far away from home. The time spent in the college prepares the students for the wider world, as well as giving them a perspective from many dimensions and having a global perspective will surely give you an upper hand at the time when you are dealing with an international client or your firm is thinking of acquisition overseas.
At Purdue, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the International Friendship Program (IFP) in which I was hosted by a family who is residing in Purdue. Through this program, I was able to understand the culture of the people living in the US and the values which they cherish the most. They shared with me their experiences when they travelled to India and I invited them to visit India again and see some beautiful places which they have missed in their tour. Also, Purdue hosts various welcoming events in which we get to meet friends from other countries. Apart from the free food, these events offer fun activities and some free goodies. The global fest celebrates the diverse community and world cultures through music, dance, crafts, and International food. I am still reminiscing about the taste of Matcha Cake (Japanese Dessert) and the delicious Swiss Pastry.
We form opinions based on the environment we are raised in, and as people from different environments collide, our opinions morph into something with a more neutral basis because of the inputs of people from various backgrounds. Diversity is the driver of character growth, as we learn to accommodate and change, we begin to adapt as the situations require it. At Purdue, which is now recognized as the eight universities in the world in terms of having the highest number of international students on campus is truly an experience one needs to have if he/she is having a sight to be a true global leader at the future company.
The students at Purdue augment the learning obtained in the classroom with those which they learn from each other and the environment in which they live in. After all, being able to understand the importance of different perspectives for solving a problem, recognizing resources and utilizing them to build an efficient system, is the essence of being a manager.