Members of our Executive MBA Class of 2019 recently traveled to India for a week-long global residency, and we caught up a few of the travelers to learn more about the week’s activities. Check out their responses below, and be sure also take a look at the students’ photos in the gallery. 

Editor’s Note: Global residencies are week-long global trips that are offered every three to four months in the first sixteen months of our 21-month Executive MBA Program. Executive MBA (EMBA) format students participate in one (and up to two – space permitting) of the four trips, while Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) format students participate in all four trips. For our Class of 2019, the global residency locations were South Africa (Q2), China (Q4), Western Europe (Q6) and India (Q8).  

Currently, the India global residency takes place in Quarter 8 (November-December), in the second year of the program. Q8 core classes are Marketing and Business Strategy and all global residency participants also take Global Leadership Explorations (GLE) (non-travelers take Explorations in Enterprise Leadership (EEL)). 

What is the purpose of the global residencies?

Ladi Carr, Director of Global Executive Programs, Center for Global Initiatives (CGI): Our goal is to introduce students to the country from a business prospective. How is it similar to/different than the U.S.? What about other parts of the world? What industries are important to the country globally? Locally? All of this is supplemented with cultural experiences – meals, tours, hands-on immersions – to give students a more complete picture of the location. As you can imagine, all of this makes for a very full week!

What is the focus of the India residency?

Ladi Carr: I see India as the capstone residency. It is the fourth residency for our GEMBA format students and often the second residency for a number of our EMBA format students. India’s core courses (Markting and Business Strategy) work very well together. India is such a large market, but it doesn’t behave like western markets. There are enormous challenges but also enormous opportunities, and it’s exciting to see students grapple with these two realities over the course of the residency.

For our 2019s, the week included a variety of activities from company visits and panel discussions to a cooking class and even a Bollywood dance class. Darden has a very large, very active alumni network in India, and it is wonderful to have our graduates meet with students to offer their insights and expertise.  Personally, I find India to be the most exotic residence, and when compared to all the other residency locations, it is the one I think has the most surprises.

What was your favorite part of the India global residency?

Nii-Lante Lamptey, ’19: For me, outside of bonding with my cohort, the highlight of the India residency was visiting the National Association of Blind and Disabled Women. Despite having limited government support, the organization’s drive to change the narrative around the role of women, and to educate and empower disabled women with tools to impact their society was truly impressive. The residency helped me realize the importance of factoring in socioeconomic variables when making business decisions and engaging with different global market segments.

EZ Pires, ’19: As a native to India, and Mumbai specifically, exploring the city with my Darden classmates proved extremely interesting. Having spent most of my young life in downtown Mumbai, I assumed that I had seen and experienced it all. But I was wrong.

For me, one of the most memorable experiences from the week was a tour of Khotachi Wadi, a small, historic “village” in South Mumbai. The “village” reflects the city’s colonial period, and, in addition to being both beautiful and historic, it’s a place I had never visited before. It’s quite common for people to ignore what’s in their own backyard, and I still can’t believe I had somehow missed this place in all my years in Mumbai. However, I am so glad I was able to share this experience with my classmates.

Interested in learning more about global opportunities for executive format students at Darden? Listen to our recent podcast interview with Ladi Carr!