31 May Pinnacle Business Systems Honored to Host the U.S. State Dept. Entrepreneur Exchange Program
Last week, Pinnacle Business Systems (Pinnacle) participated in the 2017 Entrepreneur Exchange Program in partnership with the U.S. State Department, the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth (CCEW), and the University of Oklahoma. This program brings working entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia to Oklahoma and places them in businesses similar to their business at home for a cultural and business exchange. It’s an important program in citizen diplomacy for the country as it nurtures cross-collaboration and encourages a better professional understanding of an increasing globalized workforce.
The exchange intern placed at Pinnacle Business Systems was Priyanka Chauhan, from New Delhi, India. Chauhan is a CEO who currently runs an IT consulting company that supports subject matter experts in India. Pinnacle was chosen as her host by CCEW due to her interests in social innovations and providing better advisory services to her clients which directly aligns with Pinnacle’s highly functioning process model within the IT sector.
“We were honored to be asked by the CCEW to host Chauhan, not only for what we believed she would learn from us, but also for what we anticipated we would learn from her,” Pinnacle’s Director of Tech Services & Operations, Brandy Semore said.
“The heartfelt love and affection from Pinnacle perplexed my understanding of the work place and has certainly changed my perceptions to value people.”
During the two-week internship, Chauhan was immersed into the very fabric of Pinnacle where she gained an in-depth knowledge of each department, the process flow, and the cultural substance of the company. Overall, Chauhan walked away with;
- an improved understanding of business management and project finance,
- an expanded understanding of business operations and the processes utilized,
- a better understand of project requirements analysis and
- a better understanding of the cultural differences.
On the last day of Chauhan’s internship, she presented her findings to the Pinnacle team from the Edmond office. Included in these findings were the two culture’s similarities and dependence on religion for guidance. But in contrast, were the differences in technology – where the U.S. is more advanced with technology hardware while India is working with what is being refurbished. Perhaps the largest contrast that was noted, was the difference in the workplace culture. Chauhan reported that she was amazed at how people-focused U.S. businesses are, whereas in India – employees are dispensable commodities.
“Working with you all has been a privilege, thank you for giving me this opportunity to learn from your organization,” Chauhan said. “Association with you not only helped me professionally but also personally, it has reassured on the existence of kindness and generosity in the world. The heartfelt love and affection from Pinnacle perplexed my understanding of the work place and has certainly changed my perceptions to value people.”
Chauhan was not the only who walked away with a better understanding of the cultural differences. Several Pinnacle employees were positively impacted by this exchange as well.
“It was a pleasure to visit with her as she soaked up all she could about our company, our business and our company culture and people,” Pinnacle’s CEO Rob Anderson said. “Her presentation was interesting because her cultural differences clearly influenced some of her perceptions on how we operate in the U.S. versus India, as it would any of us.”
Some Pinnacle employees were moved most by her findings on the culture within US businesses, specifically the culture of Pinnacle. Clayton Meyer, Pinnacle engineer, said that his biggest takeaway from Chauhan’s presentation was when she talked about how businesses in India were very much profit-focused and therefore didn’t invest in their own employees to grow them. “It makes me glad to be an American and live a great country, we have our share of issues but we are blessed with a lot,” Clayton said.
In addition to a cultural exchange and an opportunity to learn about business in India, what Pinnacle Business Systems employees seemed to share the most upon the closure of this program is an appreciation for the culture that Pinnacle has today. “Sometimes it takes seeing things through the eyes of an objective third party to remind yourself how unique and amazing your company’s culture is,” Pinnacle Sales Support Rep, Jil Doll said.