On Friday, November 5th, The MBAA International Student Association (ISA) hosted a Global Culture Night with support from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business Diversity & Inclusion Committee and MBA Programs Office.
The ISA is a club for students in the Full-Time MBA (FTMBA) program and its purpose is to bring together the Mason community and provide a platform where international diversity is celebrated through educational opportunities. There are more than 20 countries represented in the FTMBA program cohorts and the ISA’s goal was to celebrate the many different cultures that are found within the classes of 2022 and 2023. Global Culture Night also served as the first social event for FTMBA students to engage with on campus and in-person since March 2020.
“It was wonderful for us to learn about where students are from,” said Carlane Pittman, Director of MBA Programs. “The students were highly creative. It was an excellent time for all to be educated and immersed in the diverse experience and backgrounds our program is composed of.”
William & Mary President Katherine Rowe joined students, faculty, staff, and other special guests for the evening’s festivities at Miller Hall. The event kicked off with a global showcase where students adorned tables with items symbolic to each country’s respective culture including food, beverages, flags, décor, and posters with more information.
Guests then had the opportunity to try different cuisines at an international buffet. Students from Spain, Indonesia, and Japan then delivered presentations about their countries. A ceremonial wedding was demonstrated by students from Nigeria and Ghana, and the evening concluded with a Bollywood dance performed by students from India, though audience participation was encouraged.
Buvisuru Maitipe, an international student from Sri Lanka, said he enjoyed getting to know in-depth information about different cultures and sharing more about his country the most.
“It's always valuable to respect and honor traditions that we are not aware of, which helps to build stronger connections,” he said. “Global Culture Night opens our eyes to see the culture and practices that are unique to each student’s respective countries. Learning more allows us as individuals to grow ourselves, to accept the differences, acknowledge and respect them, and provide a platform for better networking across cultures.”
Hyun Jae Cho, an international student from South Korea, said that he enjoyed Global Culture Night because he could get closer to his peers that take part in the FTMBA Program.
“As a student body, we felt that we had gone on a trip after a long time. The event was fun and it was like traveling to a new country,” he said.