Vibrant America: An Experience to Cherish

Filed in Exchange Visitor Reflections by on March 4, 2016 0 Comments

Vinayak Gupta and his wife reach the Haleakalā Summit in Hawaii, 11,000 feet above the sea level.

By Vinayak Gupta, J-1 Trainee from India

I set off for an 11-month J-1 training at American Express in Arizona with the primary intent of enhancing my business knowledge and growing my leadership skills. However, I have come to discover various other opportunities that will be useful to me when I return to my native-India. I am learning interesting lessons about American culture, which will come in handy as one of my major job demands is to interact with American counterparts in support of various business functions.

This involves a significant amount of written and verbal communication across cultures. Gaps in understanding can lead to business losses, so learning about how people in the United States work and think will allow me to improve communications and generally leverage these experiences in my day-to-day job in India. I will also be able to educate my fellow colleagues back home about how to overcome common cultural obstacles.

Additionally, this program has helped me expand my capacity to work with people from a wide variety of cultures. I have made many friends and acquaintances in the past six months who have educated me on their different cultural and religious traditions. Back in India I always heard about how great America is and my experience with the J-1 program has helped me learn a tremendous amount first-hand.

In my free time, I have come to see that America is indeed a beautiful country with diverse landscapes, including many near me in Phoenix, Arizona, where I am currently based. Arizona’s vibrant topography ranges from desert and mountains to calm suburban areas and bustling tourist cities.

In the middle of my assignment, I was joined by my better half and we had a chance to enjoy our honeymoon in Maui, Hawaii. As a food lover and an enthusiastic cook, I have also been able to try so many different authentic cuisines, which I have really loved.

Overall it is a great program which has helped me grow professionally and personally. I have accumulated many great memories which I will cherish when I go back to India.