October 27, 2015

US Culture Awareness Training - 2 Year Anniversary

October 27, 2016 marks the two year anniversary of the US Cultural Awareness Training Program (USCAT), a program created by Authentic Journeys in partnership with UST Global and Mentor Global (formerly, GAMA). To date, this program has prepared over 500 UST Associates for their short and long-term business trips onsite to the US. 

UST Global has four locations in India - Kochi (Infopark), Trivandrum (Technopark), Bangalore (Prestige Shantiniketan), and Chennai (ASV Suntech Park). During the launch of the USCAT at each location (Kochi launch groups, photographed, right), center heads and site managers took time from their busy schedules to introduce the program and express it's importance to the business process. This communicates a commitment to cross-cultural understanding company wide. (Note the collage below. The image with the mustard background was taken in Chennai. In this image, I stand with the participants and the center head, standing next to me, to the left.)

What does UST Global do?

Acccording to the UST Global Website
UST Global® is a leading provider of end-to-end IT services and solutions for Global 1000 companies. We use a client-centric Global Engagement Model that combines local, senior, on-site resources with the cost, scale, and quality advantages of off-shore operations.
More about UST Global here. 

Who attends this training? 
Typically associates attending this training have at five to 25 years experience in the IT sector. A majority of participants have been working on virtual, software teams with U.S. counterpart and clients for at least a few years. This trip prepares a majority of the participants for their first expat assignement to the U.S. 

What do participants learn in this training? 
This instructor-led section of the USCAT prepares associates for practical realities of interactions in the American office and society. The current syllabus is listed below.

UST Global USCAT Version 3 (Aug/Sept 2015)
Cross-Cultural Training Syllabus Outline 

Meet, Greet & Get to Know
  • Introductions
  • Handshakes & Body Language Tips
  • Small Talk Workshop- Avoidable, Acceptable & Cautionary Topics
  • Small Talk Demos- How to handle unknown delicate or taboo topics
  • Small Talk Role Plays- Handling diversity, inclusion, group discussions

Getting There & Getting Around
  • Packing bags & traveling there
  • Visa and Immigration Safety
  • Getting around in the US- Public & private transport
  • Personal Safety
  • Finding a Place to Live- Leases & housing tips
  • Weather, time & season
  • Weather and average temperatures – Clothing needed
  • Time zones & daylight saving time

Basic Expectations – In the Office & Society
  • Time management
  • Dress codes
  • Body language & personal space
  • Different kinds of meetings
  • Meal-time and restaurant etiquette
  • Public Hygiene & Restroom Etiquette
  • Going to an American’s House

American Holidays Activity
Participants create conversations between onsite and offshore colleagues about common American Holidays

More photos of USCAT Training & Participants 

More photos - Trainees and Training Facilities 2014  
2015 Photos of participants and office parks - Technopark, Bangalore (Prestige Shantiniketan)  

Thank you to the staff of UST Global, GAMA and Mentor Global for the continued success of this project. Of course, none of this is possible without the enthusiastic participants. Thank you to everyone! 

This training program, facilitated by Jennifer Kumar (photo, right) is also available for your offshore teams preparing for their onsite assignments and business ventures. Contact us to discuss and plan your team's session today! 

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