SJIM students visit Seattle University through the 2019 USA Immersion Program

The 2019 SJIM Immersion Program to Seattle took place from September 28 th to 5 th October 2019. The program was jointly organized by SJIM and the Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University, USA. Fifteen of our students took part in the program, which saw them take part in classes and programs at the Seattle University, as well as interact with senior executives in Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Seattle.

Our students attended sessions at the Albers School that were especially tailored to give them insights into contemporary American business and management practices. Notable among these were the session on the American political systems by Dr. Ajay Abraham; a discussion on the US business environment and the impact of Amazon conducted by Dr. Eunice Rhee; a career guidance and development session by Ms. Megan Spaulding; a panel discussion on race and culture that included Dr. Marinilka Kimbro, Saymirah Cornelius-McClam, and Carlos Jimenez; and a class on adventure-based leadership with Dr. Greg Prussia.

The students also had a chance to participate in the Mass of the Holy Spirit (which is celebrated to ring in the start of the new academic year) and the ceremonial procession back to the university thereafter.

The students visited the offices of JP Morgan Chase, where they interacted with Mr. Nathan Nguyen, Managing Director, Northwest Region Head of Consumer Bank and Wealth Management. Nathan answered the students’ numerous questions that ranged from understanding the banking sector in the United States to career advice in the financial industry. Visits to the headquarters of Microsoft and the Boeing Factory were also much appreciated. Ms. Gloria Sanchez facilitated the visit to the Microsoft global headquarters and interacted with the students, who could then develop a deep appreciation for how organizational structure and design contributes to Microsoft’s performance. At Boeing, the students were fascinated by the operations management at the company’s largest aircraft manufacturing plant in North America, and got a chance to understand how the operations are setup so efficiently so that the plant can churn out over 800 planes every year.

One of our very own ‘old boys’ of the Joseph’s Institutions in Bangalore, Mr. Jimmy Anklesaria, flew in from California to meet the students. He gave them an entertaining overview of how he built up a very successful entrepreneurship, which is today one of the most successful consulting firms. He also gave the students a brief, but in-depth, look at the cost-cutting strategies developed by his firm. Thereafter, students enjoyed an informal interaction with Jimmy at a reception hosted by Dr. Joe Orlando, which also culminated their last day in Seattle. The students also had cultural immersion opportunities in Seattle. These included an underground tour of Seattle that covered various historical events of the old city, which is now beneath the exiting city; a visit to the Seattle Aquarium and Seattle’s iconic Chihuly Garden made of glass. Personal consumption heavily drives the US economy, contributing to over 70% of America’s GDP. Our students got a taste of this part of the culture too by spending a few hours at Walmart, a low cost operationally efficient retailer, and later, at more differentiated “high-end” retailers at Seattle’s largest mall.

Once again, SJIM places on record its sincere gratitude to Dr. Madhu Rao, Associate Dean at the Albers School, who was instrumental in hosting our students at the university. Our students were impressed with the hospitality and thoughtfulness they received. We are also grateful to Dr. Joe Phillips (Dean), Dr. Ajay Abraham, Dr. Joe Orlando, Dr. Marinilka Kimbro, Ms. Amelia Marckworth, Ms. Evinn Hickey and all the staff and students at Seattle who supported our students at the university. Our students returned from Seattle with many pleasant memories, richer in knowledge and cultural experience.