As an initiative to celebrate our multiculturalism and learn about and share each others’ cultural traditions, this year we began an initiative called the MM Culture Presentations. The idea is to have classmates volunteer to do brief presentations on their cultural background, followed by a small Q&A during lunch breaks. Initially, I wanted these to have a strong focus on how business is conducted in different cultures, however, with time it became apparent that the presentations should focus on the cultures themselves. Although we started late, I believe that having this initiative helped our cohort bond even further and many found the presentations engaging and inspiring. Current students have presented about Russia, Taiwan, India, Ontario, the Jiangnan area in China and Turkey. I believe there is potential in turning this into an interest-based presentation series similar to the ones held by the MBA Society. For the future, I hope this develops into a sort of Lunch&Learn, a concept that is becoming popular in small businesses/start-ups to increase employee engagement.
Below are some testimonials from presenters. Please have a read.
“It was an honor to do a cultural presentation on Taiwan in front of a class full of students with different backgrounds. Doing this presentation not only gave us the opportunity to introduce our culture, but it also reminded us of those cherished memories we have about our home.”
“We got to see how others thought and felt about our culture, and had the opportunity to speak about topics they were most interested that we hadn’t thought of even presenting on at first.”
“I think we didn’t realize how much we wanted to share. Before we even knew it, time was up! Many people came up to us later to express how much they learned and enjoyed the presentations.”
I am very proud to have been a part of this initiative and to see many of my classmates ask great questions, learn about each other, and gain insights into how business might be conducted in different cultures. It is my hope that this initiative continues for years into the future so that MM students can always take advantage of the cultural learnings in our diverse cohorts.
-Parawin Adisayathepkul, VP International