What do you do when you want to learn about new cultures? Travelling and learning from your friends are usually the best options. However, travelling costs a lot of money and time and it is rare to have friends from all over the world. As such, business school is an unmissable opportunity to learn from other cultures. At Booth, 36% of the full-time students are from 59 different countries. We have a unique once-in-a-lifetime chance to get to know people from all parts of the world, and also get to know and appreciate their culture!
The mission of the International Committee is to,
1. Strengthen the international community at Booth and better integrate it the greater Booth network 2. Promote collaborations among international student groups 3. Maximize the exchange students’ experience at Booth.
In order to achieve the first mission, we organized International Dinner Week from in May. The GBC subsidized Booth’s international student groups to organize small group dinners to provide an opportunity for students to experience cultures previously unknown to them. Through these dinners, students learnt about other cultures through the conversations and cuisines. This year, 154 students and partners and 8 international student groups participated in the event.
From the beginning of my Booth journey, I wanted to contribute to enhance Booth’s brand, especially outside the US. I was keen on encouraging interactions amongst students of different ethnicities, nationalities and cultures. Therefore, in addition to being a Global Booth Ambassador and the co-chair of Japan Club, I took lead of the GBC International Committee. As Booth has a diverse set of students, it is the best place to learn more about other parts of the world.
The attendees of the dinners reached out to us to let us know that they really enjoyed the dinners and learnt nuances of other cultures that would have been difficult to learn on their own. Most of the dinners were sold out due to great choice of restaurants and and marketing efforts by each student group. My next vision is to organize the event between different international student groups as more of a mixer of international groups and cultures.
I am from Tokyo which has historically had a very closed culture but the mindset of senior management in Japanese companies is changing and becoming more open. This clearly indicates that corporations have to be appreciative of global cultures in order to survive. In some way, we are ensuring that the future leaders of the world begin practicing this at booth.
Atsushi is on the GBC International Committee and is committed to strengthening the experience of international students at Booth. He is also passionate about making local companies more global.