Human Resources in Mysore
How did you live your study?
I lived my study by fully immersing myself in the topic of human resources management in the non-profit sector and the culture of India. As an ILR student, my passion has always been labor oriented, whether it is labor relations or human resources. Last summer, I got the opportunity to further my learning in human resources management by working at a public-policy initiative NGO in Mysore, India.
Prior to going to India, I did a lot of research about human resources management in the non-profit sector. The real learning started when I arrived in Mysore.
Through the Global Service Learning program, I was able to take classes for two weeks in culture, labor relations, language, and labor law. We took classes in the morning, and in the afternoon we went on excursions to places like Mysore Palace and Shravanabelagola. Through those classes and excursions, I was able to understand the culture and some of the issues that the NGO was trying to either eradicate or bring more awareness to.
Finally, to fully immerse ourselves in Indian culture, we wore traditional clothing for the duration of the program. We also wore custom saris to a wedding and a classical music concert.
What was your most profound turning point abroad?
The most profound turning point of my abroad experience happened two weeks before I left. Right before the end of the day, all of the employees sat in a circle and started talking about their lives. I was able to hear their perspectives on colorism, marriage, religion and culture.
What truly intrigued me was that they wanted to learn more about myself and my culture. Thus, I was able to talk about my natural hair, Haitian culture, and the similarities between Mysore and my hometown in Haiti.
After that conversation, I started being more open about the types of music and TV shows that I like. On the last day of work, we even had a dance-off with American music and Bollywood music!
What research projects were you able to participate in while abroad?
I was able to develop a 20-page human resources management handbook for the NGO. Through conversations with employees (management and non-management) I was able to learn about the organizational culture of the NGO. In the end, I produced a handbook that not only included all company policies and regulations, but truly matched the culture of the organization.