Global Experiential Projects with a Manufacturer in India: Insights from Five Years of Experience

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In 2006, a two-credit hour projects course was developed at the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, in partnership with a manufacturer in India. The course was designed to provide experience of working on consulting projects with industry while exposing them to global best practices. A select group of undergraduate engineering and management, Masters in Human Resources, Masters/PhD's in engineering, and MBA students begin the five-month course in January each year to converge on the client facility in India in May for three weeks of fieldwork. The course ends about the middle of June after students have presented the results and recommendations to the company managers and have submitted the final reports. Year after year, improvements have been made to enrich students' experiences, which have lead to a well-structured program. In its fifth year of operation, the program has proved to be a win-win for both the students and the industrial partner. In this paper, we present key details of the design and delivery of these projects. We discuss the feedback mechanisms used to improve the course. We believe that the global setup of this projects course is unique and that our experience provides useful insights to those interested in developing such a course.

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