Este semestre, estoy trabajando para la empresa Novayre. La compañía fue fundada en 2007 con el objetivo de traer innovación al sector tecnología. Los fundadores son Victor Ayllon, el director general, y Juanma Reina, director de tecnología. Victor ha trabajado en sectores diversos como telecomunicaciones, finanzas, y eléctricos en mas de tres países, completando proyectos del desarrollo de tecnología. Juanma es un especialista en gestión de información. Con su objetivo de innovación, Victor y Juanma se usaban sus experiencias de más de 15 años en el sector TIC para crear Novayre, una consultoría solamente para el desarrollo de tecnología.
1. May 16, 2012
I touched down in Delhi, late Sunday evening, meeting up with Professor Cheema. Except for the masses of Indian people waiting the arrival of other passengers, there were no immediate signs indicating that we were actually 14 hours across the globe in Asia. The terminal was modern and clean, unlike many foreign airports I had previously visited. Professor Cheema and I sat at a café drinking coffee and tea as we anxiously awaited the arrival of our travel buddies. Moreover, English was spoken in abundance. We finally left the airport after each member of our party arrived separately and darted through the night to our hotel, the Taj Ambassador, our new makeshift home for the next week. Barely tired because of the radical time difference, I managed to get a few hours of sleep.
Connaught Place and Chandni Chowk in New and Old Delhi
Uniquely thriving shopping centers and multiple modes of transportation
Our first day out in New Delhi we visited Connaught Place, a vibrant shopping center in the heart of New Delhi’s business district. As a first impression, Connaught Place was quite the eye opener with its abundance of people, cars and businesses, but as we quickly learned it was only minor in comparison to the experience we would have the following day in Chandi Chowk market of Old Delhi.
I landed in Delhi on May 15th at 11:30PM. After hours of flight, I was tired and needed transportation from the airport to the Ambassador hotel, where the group was staying. I wandered around the airport for a while and found a prepaid taxi deal for 400 rupees. I was relieved and thought I was going to be able sleep on the way to the hotel. In no way was I prepared for the thrill I was about to experience. I immediately realized I was in India as I got into the black, green, and yellow taxi, taking notice of the driver seat right side location and the pictures of Hindu gods in the car, illuminated by alternating green and red lights.
Delhi: A contradictory city with contradictory sentiments
Landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at midnight on May 14th, I was attracted by the modern look of the design of the terminal, despite struggling to combat jetlag as a result of my flight from US to Taiwan two days earlier. New Delhi welcomed me with the black-flannel-like night sky and 80-degree breeze, which I would learn to appreciate after the sun came back out in the morning.
India: First Impression, Worry and Beauty
I expected so much and so little from India. I had a clear and structured picture of India. However, after being here for a few days, my head spins when asked to describe India. The reasoning is simple: the first thing that hit me while I was here was the chaos. The incredible rush of hundreds of people, the pure frustration while caught in traffic, the noise, the sounds, and colors and the culture, everything just slammed into me all at once. Perhaps I should try to just begin slowly and think about it all over again.
As my semester comes close to the end, I have been reflecting a lot about my classes. My core class here is called “European Business Strategy” and the main focus and goals of the class revolve around understanding how business works in the European Union and both the opportunities and challenges this type of environment present. At the beginning of the course, I felt like I was learning a lot of things that I had learned or could expect to learn at my home university at UVA (such as Porter’s five forces, industry analysis, situational analysis, etc). I made the assumption that business in the US and Europe was quite similar and I was not going to learn anything differently here than back at UVA. Boy was I wrong! Once the semester got rolling, we were learning more and more about the EU including the commission, parliament, EU regulations, monetary policy, etc. Most of these are things that go overlooked in the US. Take monetary policy for example. In Europe, most companies will have to face the consideration of monetary policy due to the fact that the Euro is not used by all countries in the EU even, let alone in all of Europe. Companies must constantly take into consideration how to handle these differences in currencies and also the differences in economic health and strength of each individual country. In the US, most states are considered quite similar, at least in terms of economies, government and social structure. This is quite different in Europe and I have really enjoyed learning just how complex Europe is. It made business in Europe seem slightly intimidating but I also gained an appreciation of the complexity of business here. Each country presents a whole new market and opportunity for growth and expansion for companies. By learning about how to manage businesses in such a diverse continent, companies can grow so much and reach a great deal of success. Another one of my classes, International Marketing and Branding, also has helped me gain a greater understanding of the similarities and differences between the US and Europe. Again, I learned many of the same things that were familiar to me from the US, such as creating a marketing plan, SWOT, competitor anaylsis and the like. At the same time, I also learned about all the barriers that companies face when trying to advertise throughout Europe. Language is one of the most common barriers that is different from the US and something that we take for granted in the US. In Europe, if you are trying to develop a marketing strategy or advertisements for a product or company, you can only usually target 1 country at a time and make specific and customized strategies and messages to each respective country. I am really lucky to have gotten the opportunity to learn about the European business environment in Europe and taught by professors that have based their careers around it. I think I would not have gotten as much out of these classes had they been taught in the US by American professors because by being in Europe, I am seeing firsthand the things I am learning. I can’t wait to be able to take back this knowledge and use it in the years to come when I seek out my career/profession.
Pretty soon, I will have lived in Buenos Aires for 2 months! I have experienced so much while I’ve been here, and had so many feelings towards my experiences. One of the best parts of study abroad is that it’s a whirlwind of events, and you just have to do your best to deal with each thing that’s thrown at you. I had to grow up fast once I got here, and I’m still not done growing. Instead of being stressed out, the attitude here is that nothing is a big deal, or “no pasa nada.” When people here greet here and ask how they are, one usually replies by saying that everything is “tranquilo,” or calm. I still haven’t realized why people here are so laid-back considering their lack of sleep, and mountain of work to do, but no one is ever stressed. Although it was hard for me to adapt to this attitude, I’m really starting to live in that point of view. A relaxed way of thinking takes away the urgency of the situation and the possible efficiency benefits of time crunch, but it’s better in the long run because you don’t feel like you need a mental break. I wonder what 3rd year ICE fall semester would be like if everyone had adopted this attitude? Ha, to be honest it would be so different. This type of no stress attitude is something I will be looking for in a job in a few years. If I could find a work environment with a great culture, that would be ideal. And if I can’t find anything that suits me, I’ll just have to open a business and work for myself!
Last week I travelled with my business strategy class to London. I was a little nervous leading up to the trip. The talk of London’s size and the importance of the tube had me a bit on the ropes. I was quite surprised when I found that London was actually easier to navigate than Copenhagen. I’m sure this in in part due to many signs being written in English. It only took a day to adapt, and I’m actually quite proud of myself for mastering the use of the tubes. Despite my initial misgivings I quite enjoyed London.
This past weekend I went to Western Denmark for a study tour with my European Business Strategy class. I braved the cold and dark to get on a bus at 6:45 AM. We arrived at our first company, Dansk Supermarked, at around 10. Dansk Supermarked owns 3 of the main grocery stores in Denmark: Netto, Bilka and Fotex. It was really cool to visit the warehouse and see how the business operates, as I shop at Netto almost twice a week. As an added bonus they also handed out free t-shirts! It is my first piece of clothing from Denmark and there’s even Danish writing on the front! After finishing lunch at Dansk Supermarked, my class headed to Aarhus where we visited the ARoS museum. I normally don’t enjoy museums, but this was one of the coolest places I have ever been! The installations were very interactive and nothing like anything I’ve ever seen. My favorite exhibit was the rainbow room; when you walk in you can’t see anything, even a foot in front of you. It is a maze of colors! I’m probably not explaining that well so I uploaded a picture of the room. After the museum we checked into a hostel and had dinner. Some of the people in our class stayed out to explore the city but I was tired so I went back to the hostel after dinner and went to bed early.