Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Improvising in India

Ed Corbett's well-laid plans fell apart during his trip to India. So, he passed along the lessons he learned to other students preparing for a similar trip—and faculty took notice.

Ed Corbett, a fourth-year Marvin P. Kolodzik Business Scholar pursuing a bachelor of science in industrial management (BSIM), strengthened his cross-disciplinary skills in December 2008 on a trip to India. With him were students from the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning and the College of Business Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS program. The goal of the trip was to test water quality and explore what types of systems, such as water pumps and filters, were being used in the villages of Ranapur, Sakarda and Rozam. Although it was a chance to build relationships with fellow students, it was also an eye-opening lesson regarding making assumptions while organizing the project.

“We didn't really know what they had, so we had a plan of what we wanted to do when we got there,” Ed explains. When the students arrived, they found what they had prepared for was already being enacted. “We kind of had to double back,” he says. However, it was not a wasted effort. Upon his return home, Ed worked with a group of students from the trip and some environmental studies majors to write an 84-page paper on their findings to pass along to the students going on the following trip. Ed's performance in and out of the classroom prompted faculty to select him to attend the prestigious Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals conference in September 2009—an invitation-only event, with only 50 students nationwide attending.

Ed's trip to India left a lasting impression. The trip was “way out of my comfort zone because I'd never left the country before,” he says. But it will not be his last trip: he plans to be in the Galapagos Islands for a field study on bio-diversity over the winter 2009 break.

Want to learn more?

Ed Corbett is serving in the Peace Corps in Zambia. Read about his experiences in his blog.