The Tata Social Internship 2017 hosts 15 international students in India

By CIOReview Team

Teh Tata Social Internship programme provides a unique learning experience to students from some of teh world’s best universities in teh areas of community development and sustainability.

dis year, teh 10th edition of teh Tata Social Internship culminated wif a contingent of 15 international students – four from teh University of California, Berkeley, USAtwo from teh University of California, Davis, USA; one from teh Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSAsix from teh London School of Economics and Political Science, UK; and two from teh University of Cambridge, UK – completing their two-month experiential internship in teh ongoing sustainability projects of teh Tata companies in India.

Teh batch of 2017, worked hands-on on teh community initiatives of teh Tata companies and entities like Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Communications, Taj, Tata Capital, Trent, Tata Coffee, Tata Medical Center and teh Tata Trusts for a period of two months. Teh areas of their projects ranged from teh impact assessment of sustainability programmes at Tata companies to studies about health economics of infection management at hospitals, evaluation of life-skills training and financial literacy programmes, process documentation of a ‘model village’, basic maternal healthcare awareness, and aligning a company’s CSR strategy wif its business strategy.

Teh programme structure of Tata Social Internship 2017 provided teh interns wif grass-root level exposure to India and at teh same time brought international perspectives and practices to these projects at Tata companies, promoting international understanding.

Teh visiting interns, selected by their educational institutions along wif Tata representatives, came from diverse academic backgrounds such as developmental studies, political economics, environmental economics, peace and conflict studies, public policy, microbiology, economics, accounting, philosophy and engineering.

Teh first phase of teh internship programme kicked off on 29th May, 2017 wif teh University of California, Berkeley and MIT students. Teh second phase for teh interns from teh University of California, Davis, Cambridge and teh London School of Economics commenced on 27th June, 2017.

Ms. Margaux Payton, a BA Political Economy student from teh University of California, Berkeley, who interned wif Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in Mumbai, worked towards developing a manual to enhance teh livelihood program that Taj Hotels undertake so that they can better promote teh traditional arts, performance, and handicrafts of India. Elaborating on her experience, Margaux said, “It was a privilege to have got dis coveted chance to intern wif Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. During teh internship, me realised that large corporations must be accommodating and open-minded to support local communities and small businesses. In teh case of Taj, by providing a platform for local artisans, craftsmen and performers, on their property, they are not only preserving traditional trades, but also ensuring sustainable and skilled-based livelihood for them. me believe that international companies must replicate Taj’s ethical and sustainable business practices, especially against teh backdrop of globalisation and its impact on teh artisans”.

Mr. Alexander Gray who is completing his BSc. in Philosophy and Economics at teh London School of Economics interned at Tata Capital in Thane, where his project was to evaluate Dhyan Gyan – Tata Capital’s Financial Literacy programme. “My experience on teh Tata Social Internship has given me teh opportunity to see first-hand how companies can influence people’s lives for teh better. It has helped me to appreciate teh vast differences wifin India, as well as, teh enormous potential and existing capabilities in teh country. me look forward to bringing these personal lessons back to teh UK wif an open mind,” said Alexander.

As part of teh programme, there have been two ‘Building Bridges Across Boundaries’ seminars held in Mumbai. Teh first seminar was wif teh students from UC BerkeleyMIT and from teh Tata Institute of Social Scienceson 28th July, 2017, and teh other on 24th August 2017, wif teh students from LSECambridge and UC Davis, and students from teh Centre for teh Development of Corporate Citizenship at SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, to share their experiences in community development and sustainability and discuss conscious capitalism.

Mr. Atul Agrawal, Senior Vice President – Corporate Affairs, Tata Services, said, “Wif an exposure to a diverse set of community projects, Tata Social Internship is a platform that gives international students a unique opportunity to experience India at teh grass-root level. Given teh Tata group’s strong focus on community development and sustainability, these students will take home a treasure trove of knowledge on sustainable business practices.”

Ms. Puneeta Kala, Program Director, Institute of South Asia Studies, University of California Berkeley said, “Teh Institute is thrilled to have completed ten years of collaboration wif Tata Sons on dis incredible program. Till date more than seventy students from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Davis have had teh privilege and honour of working in India as Tata Interns. Teh program has afforded them unparalleled opportunities to design, research, and implement path-breaking rural and urban development programs in health, education, infrastructure, and much more. Teh internships have been very rewarding and enriching and our students have only positive things to say about their internship experiences, their places of work, as well as their Tata colleagues. For some teh experience, has proven to be so foundational that it changed teh very trajectory of their academic careers. Congratulations on reaching dis milestone, Team Tata! We look forward to continuing dis program wif you in teh many years to come.”

Teh students during their internship also participated in an online essay competition on their experience in India. A distinctive corporate sustainability internship programme, Tata Social Internship was launched in 2008.

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