Summer Program Features Visits to Salesforce, iRobot and Microsoft

MOPVC students pose during a visit to iRobot Image by Jim Higgins
Students from M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women in Chennai, India, visit iRobot in Bedford as part of their three-week program hosted by the Manning School of Business.

By Ed Brennen

Fourteen business students from M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women in Chennai, India, visited campus recently for an immersive three-week summer program held by the Manning School of Business.

Now in its third year, the program combines classroom learning with visits to companies including Salesforce, iRobot and Microsoft. Students also visited the Innovation Hub, the accounting firm RSM and the educational technology company IXL International.

Director of Innovation and Workforce Development Sandhya Balasubramanian, a former professor and department chair at M.O.P., launched the program three years ago along with Leticia Porter, assistant dean of the Manning School.

“When I started facilitating international partnerships, I thought this was a great marriage of two universities that I knew intimately,” Balasubramanian says. “I knew the quality of their students, and on this side, I knew the quality of content that would be delivered.”

Balasubramanian and Porter developed the curriculum which covers business strategy, management and digital marketing. Several Manning School faculty members volunteered to lead the non-credit classes.

“The students love it,” Balasubramanian says of the program, which expanded from two to three weeks this year and includes housing at the River Hawk Village. “They get such a wonderful exposure to both the academic side and how industry and business is managed here.”

Balasubramanian says the program helps strengthen the university’s international reach. She notes that several participants from 2018 have expressed interest in pursuing their master of business administration degrees at UML.

“One of them called me and said, ‘I’m ready to do this,’” says Balasubramanian, who put the student in touch with UML’s admissions rep in India.