Smith's Diverse Community Celebrates International Week
The second week of February 2011 was filled with excitement for students in the
MBA program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, who
held the annual Smith International Week.
Students from outside the United States make up 39% of the full-time MBA program
and 10% of the part-time MBA program. Drawn from all around the world, students
bring their industry expertise and regional perspectives to create a rich and textured
learning environment for each other.
Japanese student Yohsuke Ikebuchi, Smith MBA 12, who displayed his amateur photography
of his home region of Shimane Prefecture during the Week, was glad that Smith gathers
so many different backgrounds at the same time in the same place. We cannot easily
find this kind of opportunity.
For Asian MBA Association
(AMBAA) Co-President Shiyu Serene Liao, Smith MBA 11, of China who was in charge
of the weeks events, International Week is a venue for learning, fun, and professional
development. We want our community to be open-minded and willing to understand different
cultures and business etiquette, she said.
Smith students kicked off the week with the AMBAA and a Lunar New Year celebration
dinner. On Tuesday, a panel of Smith students shared their knowledge of business
etiquette around the world over dinner hosted by the AMBAA and the
Communications Club. Attendees also watched student produced
video interviews of fellow classmates who recently participated in the
China Business Competition in Beijing, China and the
India Global Study
Students attended a festival of short international films on Wednesday and
then topped off the week on Thursday with International Night, an evening
showcasing Smith student performances and national cuisines. By understanding
other countries' cultures, the culture gap can be narrowed, said Chinese student
Tiffany Wong, Smith MBA 12, who also co-emceed the evening. I believe it is also a great opportunity for
our American classmates to touch the world outside of the U.S. and to cultivate
a global perspective. Lina Montoya, Smith MBA 11, of Colombia added that some of
our countries, like Colombia, have negative images among people because of what
is shared in the press. However, settings like International Night allow us to portray
the positive aspects of Colombia and Latin America so the Smith community understands
that there are beautiful and rich cultures in our countries.
Organized by the Asian MBA Association, the
International MBA Association, and the
Center for International Businesses
Education and Research (CIBER), International Night features student cooked
cuisines representing the community's backgrounds, including: Bolivia, Brazil, China,
Taiwan, Colombia, India, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand,
the United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
The evening opened with a student fashion show of raiment from multiple countries.
Vietnamese student Yen Lacey Nguyen, Smith MBA 12, sang a Vietnamese salsa tune
while the Hispanic
MBA Association reprised their earlier dance routine as background performers.
This was followed by a hip-hop routine choreographed by Thai student Natthida June
Kiattiwong, Smith MBA 12. Other performances included Filipino pop music, Japanese
break dancing, Chinese opera and Lion Dancing, Brazilian Batal, and Thai kickboxing.
The evening ended with dancing disc jockeyed by Anthony Moniello, Smith MBA 12,
of the United States. Besides the fall semester's Indian student-led Diwali Night,
the spring semesters International Week is another fun opportunity for Smith students
to enjoy each others company and learn more about each other, said Becky Eisen,
Smith MBA 12.
Co-MC Rocky Guo, Smith MBA 12, of the United States was glad that his cohort
could get together to have fun and learn more about each other. My personal goal,
he said was to put on a great show amidst all the internship search craziness. I
think it was great to have international night to blow off some steam.
The Smith MBA program is very exhaustive, Karan Arora, Smith MBA 12, of India
agreed, so this is a time when everyone forgets about the class assignments, the
tests, and the projects, and just concentrates on their performances and good food.
An event like this offers a fantastic opportunity to explore so many different cultures
and meet new people, especially part-time MBAs, alumni, and professors.
Stephen Huie, Smith MBA Candidate 10, Smith Media Group