ALAMEDA -- While most college juniors spend their summers traveling Europe, going to concerts or finding the nearest beach to relax on, UC Davis student Evan Shum was hard at work.
Shum, a 2011 graduate of Alameda High School, was one of 20 interns selected to participate in the two-month Tata International Social Entrepreneurship Scheme in Mumbai, India, this summer. The business program hosted students from UC Davis, UC Berkeley, the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics.
According to Tata ISES, the business program addresses a variety of issues, including integrated watershed development, turning wasteland into arable land, women's empowerment through sustainable livelihoods, health education and suggesting upgrade plans for a skills development program.
Shum worked for the Tata Capital office in Thane, a city about 40 minutes north of Mumbai. The Tata Capital branch focused on environmental science and policy, and Shum's responsibility included creating an online portal where employees can learn about the environment and corporate sustainability in the world of business.
"There are very motivated people at Tata Capital," Shum said. "They create students into good employees. Going into a company where people are like-minded and goal oriented, it is very beneficial for you."
At Alameda High, Shum was captain of the men's water polo team and led the team to its first Alameda/Contra Costa Athletic League (ACCAL) championship, and received the Alameda High School Alumni Scholarship in 2011 for academic and merit-based achievement within the student body.
At UC Davis, Shum is an exercise biology major and business minor but saw an email from Tata to apply for their summer program and could not pass up the opportunity.
"I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone and challenge myself academically and culturally," Shum said.
Even though the students in the Tata program were expected to work roughly 48 hours a week, Shum had time to enjoy India.
"I visited the Taj Mahal," Shum said. "They give us time to travel around."
Before Shum leaves India in September, he will give a final presentation in which he will showcase his findings.
Shum said after he graduates from UC Davis, he would like to get his master's degree in business administration. "I'm looking at the field of starting my own business," Shum said. "I can't imagine being an employee long-term in a cubicle."