February 24, 2022

For Students, a Day for Embassies and Global Thinking

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Lebanon Embassy Day
Brazil Embassy Day

What does it mean to have a global mindset?

It’s a question that Maryland Smith undergraduates seek to answer each year at the Center for Global Business’ Embassy Day event.

Embassy Day, a two-part event of the Smith Start experience and the first introduction to a global mindset as a Maryland Smith student, invites freshmen and transfer students to meet diplomatic representatives in embassies throughout Washington, D.C., and to learn more about the respective countries. This year, 15 countries participated and met virtually with over 100 students.

More senior student leaders served as Embassy Day Attaché, preparing each student group to meet with the embassy representatives and leading each session. Embassy officials provided a top-level view of their country to the students, and covered topics including sustainability initiatives, pandemic impacts, cultural characteristics, logistical challenges, current economic conditions, and the importance of understanding other countries and cultures in modern business.

After the presentations, students were given the chance to ask questions. Finally, students engaged in a roundtable discussion on what they found most surprising, and on the importance of a global mindset. They also discussed international travel, with students sharing information regarding study abroad opportunities, countries they have visited in the past, and what countries are on their wishlist to explore.

“I found it very interesting to hear about a different culture and country that I am not familiar with,” says Todd Price, a Maryland Smith freshman. “We are so accustomed to the U.S. culture and way of life that it is hard to put into perspective another country’s way of life. Hearing about a completely different style of living is both intriguing and interesting.”

To conclude the session, the Embassy Day Attachés asked each individual to define what the competencies of a global mindset meant to them, how what they learned from embassy day furthered their understanding of a global mindset, and how they plan to use a global mindset moving forward.

“Global mindset is critical for students to succeed in the global workplace and become future global business leaders,” says Greg Rafal, assistant director for the Center for Global Business. “Embassy Day is a unique way for students to begin developing their global business savvy by exposing them to new countries and markets.”

Learn more about the seven competencies that define Global Mindset on the CGB website.

The event was supported in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

–By Phillip Reamer. Reamer is a 2023 MBA candidate and Smith Fellow originally from Sykesville, Md. He worked for three years in the horticulture industry before beginning his MBA studies, most recently with Walt Disney World’s horticulture team.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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