China Trip Added to Summer Sessions, Which Draw 116 Students from 7 Countries to Campus
By Ed Brennen
Life-changing experiences can be few and far between, but senior economics major Mike Maguire discovered one last winter when he traveled to India with the Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation study abroad program.
“It was incredible. I loved every second of it,” says Maguire, who enjoyed the Manning School of Business program so much that he re-enrolled in the intensive two-week course once again this summer when it was held at UMass Lowell.
Maguire was one of 18 undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the three-credit summer session, which offered an opportunity to collaborate on entrepreneurial projects in small groups with 43 students visiting from India, China and Japan. A second summer session drew 55 MBA students from Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.
Since launching in 2014, the Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation program has attracted more than 600 students from eight countries. “And that’s because we have so many faculty, staff and guests at UMass Lowell who have supported us throughout,” says Manning School senior lecturer Ashwin Mehta, who runs the program along with Nitin Kulkarni from KLE Technological University in Hubli, India.
Sophia Laura DeAraujo participated in last winter’s India course before graduating from the Manning School in May with a concentration in international business. She says the experience was a major factor in landing a full-time job at Alcyone Lifesciences, a Lowell biotech company whose CEO hails from India.
In addition to the group project work, the summer program features guest lectures from a dozen Manning School faculty members, a tour of the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub and visits to local tech companies. Students in this summer’s first session visited Amazon Robotics in North Reading, Wintriss Controls in Acton and MKS Instruments Inc. in Methuen, where alum Jerry Colella ’78 is CEO and president.
Another alum, Wayne Cole ’90, gave students an overview of the global operations at MKS and a tour of the facility that focused on process and environmental analysis solutions.
At the University Crossing reception, where students from India wore colorful saris and kurtas, Manning School founder Stuart Mandell recalled launching a course in international trade a half century earlier — back when business education was far more “insular.”
“The opportunity to visit another country and to see how people live is much more important, in some respects, than book learning,” Mandell told the students. “And that’s what this program is all about. What Prof. Mehta has done here is wonderful.”
Wearing a bright red kurta he bought in India, Maguire posed for pictures at the reception with friends he made in Hubli six months earlier.
“I was nervous going over there, but their culture just embraces you,” said Maguire, who is considering returning to India after completing his degree in December. “To have the students come here and to show them our side of the story is a really awesome experience.”