Tag Archive for: Entrepreneurship Internship

Entrepreneurship Development Institute Internship 2014 – Second Week – Alex

Chanderi 5Chanderi Week 1: Orientation

After a 16 hour train ride through Gujurat and Rajastan, Jordan and I (Alex) had arrived in Chanderi at around 2 pm. We had done some preliminary research about the illustrious handloom industry and the region we would be investigating. In doing so, we had found that the town is actually part of the Jain Teerth and is home to many Jain temples. Also dotted around the city are a handful of palaces and edifices dating back to the 1400’s. Jordan and I were excited to explore everything that the medieval-walled city had to offer.

Chanderi 4Besides taking in the people, the food, and the sites, week one was quite an intensive work week. We had taken the first three days to orient ourselves completely with the Chanderi handloom cluster, which meant walking many miles in a day to the homes of different weavers, designers, traders, and local associations. We set out to learn the ins and outs of the cluster’s operations, so we would have a better idea of where the Chanderi Handloom Cluster Development Producer Company Limited (PCL) fit inside of it. Once Jordan and I had felt comfortable with the general logistics of it all, we began to dig into the PCL, speaking directly to the CEO to gather information regarding its financials, operations, and market linkages. By Friday, we had completed the first part of our data collection process. The weekend, of course, was reserved for some site seeing.Chanderi 6

-Alex Silberman

Entrepreneurship Development Institute Internship 2014 – Second Week

AFTER the 42 hr train rideEDI sent us (Bradley and Addison) to Varanasi to investigate the local branch of the Producer Company, an organization of weavers, dyers, master weavers and other members of the crafting process. Once we arrived in Varanasi, we made our way to our accommodations. After crossing a temporary bridge–which will need to be dismantled as soon as monsoon season comes–and a short five-minute trek, we arrived at our guesthouse surrounded by picturesque scenery, animal life and the local school.

Varanasi Temporary BridgeOn our first day of work, we met our employers from EDI who work with the Producer Company Limited (PCL). PCL assists weavers in three clusters surrounding Varanasi: Kotwa, Lohta, and Ramnagas. We had a very productive first day visiting Kotwa, which is also where the head office of PCL is located. We were amazed to find out that this rural village was made up of 30,000 weavers! Although our first day of work was challenging, it proved very productive with our objectives changing and reshaping as the day wore on.

Ultimately, we decided that our first objective would be to encourage more weavers to join the Producer Company Limited. To achieve this, we created promotional materials with case studies that could be distributed to all weavers. We highlighted Mushtaqueem, a master weaver who exports domestically and internationally as a case study to demonstrate how beneficial joining the Producer Company Limited could be. We really enjoyed our time with Mushtaqueem, and we could tell that he truly cared about his weavers.

In addition to collecting case studies for promotional use, we were able to learn from our visit more about the ancient art of handloom and to understand more about the Producer Company Limited. We’d like to add that this visit was also a great opportunity to buy scarves by the bulk!

Testing the productAfter meeting with Mushtaqueem, we went a couple blocks down in the Ramnagas cluster and met with the chairman of the Producer Company Limited – Amresh. Amresh was extremely helpful and provided us with a lot of detail that will help us bring tourists to the Ramnagas cluster. By attracting tours to this cluster, we hope to increase both domestic and international brand recognition and to increase of sales and revenue stream for the Producer Company Limited.

Pink guest house in VaranasiTo savor the precious time we have in Varanasi, we have used every opportunity to explore this vibrant city. We’ve visited the palace where the Ramnagas King and Queen live, explored the river Ganges by boat, witnessed the candle prayer vigils on the steps of Varanasi, and seen a cow drink from a mans hand which was coming out a street tap! It seems, however, that wherever we go there’s a slightly amusing tourist fee – ‘20 rupees for Indian citizens and 150 rupees for foreign tourists’ read the sign at Ramnagas palace. Nevertheless, we feel we got our money’s worth when we saw the King and Queen of Ramnagas leave their palace; this will forever be our claim to fame!

Bradley & Addison

Entrepreneurship Development Institute Internship 2014 – First Week


Group at EDIOn the first day of our trip to India, we all arrived early in the morning around 4 A.M. Too excited about our upcoming adventures to sleep, we sat together talking about the journey to India and getting to know one another. On the first day, after the sun came up, we all went to a small shopping area called D-Mart, where we got to sample local sweets and to see a little of the city of Ahmedabad. We also met some of the students who are studying at EDI and who were extremely nice. They showed us around the campus with its European-style architecture: brick buildings with courtyards and ponds in between each building, connected by open walkways. It had a small football pitch and a nice basketball court. We found that the school hosts a little market where we could buy drinks and snacks in between meals as well as a cantina for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

EDI CampusThe first and second day of work flew, reading about the clusters that were going to observe and breaking up into two teams. The days were long, but we relished the opportunity to explore what we would be working on for the next six weeks. During the introduction, EDI explained that they want us to assist the Producer Company, which is an organization of weavers, dyers, master weavers and other members of the crafting process. By the end of the second day, we determined that two improvements were needed for the Producer Company, marketing and organizational structure. We plan to work on the marketing aspect for the weavers to build brand equity and to cut out some of the middlemen in the supply chain that are taking the majority of the profits from the weavers and actual craftsmen. The second objective is to make the Producer Company a self-sustaining company that no longer needs support from EDI. Our solution to this is to create a handbook that outlines procedures and organizational practices to which the Producer Company can refer. 

TPlaying cardshe first week has gone in a similar fashion to the first two days: reading about the hand loom cluster, gaining insight from the professors at EDI, preparing our objectives, and discussing the best way to complete our objectives in the three-week time span we have at the clusters. We plan initially to use surveys to gather quantitative information about the clusters and interviews to gather the detailed, qualitative information needed. We are very aware that our objectives could radically change once arriving in Varanasi after talking with the members of the Producer Company. Consequently, we have built flexibility into our visit. We have decided that the first couple of days in Varanasi will be for observing hand loom process and talking with members of the Producer Company to determine if the objectives we have identified line up with their desires.

In the vanHaving completed our first week of studying and preparing, we are finally setting off on a train to Varanasi! Estimated as a 32-hour journey with 56 stops, we have prepared ourselves with plenty of more reading, cards, and snacks!

Too important to overlook, we saw a massive monkey on the second day which probably came up to our hips when it was on all fours, but the tail looked like it came above our heads!

–Addison Montano


Simon You, Dublin Internship Program

Interned in the venture capital field, Spring 2013

I Learned: I learned that it’s pretty difficult to break into venture, so working at a venture capital firm abroad really increased my understanding of how that industry worked. I also learned more about the country of Ireland and its amazing culture.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: One difference was that the businesses in Ireland had more casual hours; they also have a big tea culture. Other than that and their cool accents, I found the businesses to be rather similar.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of my experience was getting adjusted in the beginning of the program. I didn’t know many people, but that soon changed as the classes and field trips started.

Best Part: The best part of my experience was the traveling. Ireland’s a small island, so I got to see a lot. I traveled to Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland, and Western Ireland.

Ming-Dan Zheng, Shanghai Internship Program

The City of Shanghai from the Ming Pearl Towers

Interned as a Commercial and Marketing Associate with the  SARBEC Laboratories, Spring 2012

Internship: SARBEC is a French cosmetics company that is conducting business development in China. Completing CORE the semester before I went abroad really helped me in this internship because essentially this internship was one large CORE project. I had to look at marketing, operations, information systems, and financial aspects of the company’s development in China. Part of my job included traveling with my manager to different parts of China to search for reliable suppliers and distributors for our packaging and distribution. On business trips, I had the opportunity to translate for my manager from English to Chinese and vice versa; this gave me the chance to use Mandarin in a professional setting. I was also a part of the marketing efforts, which allowed me to research competitor products and to incorporate the 4P’s and branding strategies. As we are now in the digital age, a website is imperative for a successful company; therefore, I created a domain name and set up the company website. Towards the end of my internship, I got to work with some numbers to forecast future revenues and costs as well as optimization scenarios.

I Learned: I learned about the reliance on connections and relationships when conducting business on all levels. Additionally, I learned that Shanghai use to be a fishing village, and now it’s one of the world’s most flourishing and modern cities.

Hardest Part: The hardest part was finding relevant information on the internet. One can find all information he or she doesn’t need but will not find useful information when searching for business material. I needed to use other ways to reach the information I needed.

Best Part: The best part was exploring the awesome city of Shanghai that consists of an abundance of history. I also did a lot of traveling during my time in China. I visited Beijing, Hongzhou, Suzhou, Yunnan, Yiwu, Fuzhou, Huangchun in Anhui.