Learning About Other Cultures is an Enriching Experience
My undergraduate university, NC State, was a hub of international activity, due in part to the scientific and engineering resources available for research and development. Also, the school is large and is able to accommodate a large population of international students. As an English major, however, I really didn’t get as much of an opportunity to interact with these students, as they were mainly in other disciplines. The MMS program alone, however, consists of over 30 percent international students from 22 different countries. With essentially one third of the class from another part of the world, meeting and interacting with classmates is always interesting.
Over the course of the last two semesters, I have formed some great friendships with international students. Two weeks into our first semester, I was invited by some of my Chinese friends to go to Li Ming’s, a local Asian grocery store. Li Ming’s has an incredible buffet for about $5, and features some really great and authentic Chinese food. I had no prior knowledge of the grocer, and I felt honored to be invited and included in my friends’ plans. I knew that we would share some great times together over the course of the program, and even though they were thousands of miles away from their homes, they had somehow made me feel like I was family.
For international students who are thinking about this program, there is a lot to consider. Moving far away from home and family can be challenging and difficult, but I think that the experience that you get at Duke and Fuqua is one that you will not quickly forget. There are so many opportunities to share each others’ cultures, especially through student clubs and activities. An example of this sharing of cultures is the Diwali celebration that occurred a few weeks ago at Fuqua. Diwali is a traditional Indian holiday, and several classmates were kind enough to share the tradition with us. These are the kinds of events that bring people together at Fuqua, and create a global community within the program.
With such an international presence, the MMS program has also developed a global reputation. This is reflected in the firms that come here to recruit. For example, Boston Consulting Group, one of the world’s leading business consulting firms, has visited campus several times this year. This is a great opportunity for MMS students because companies like BCG are recruiting not just for domestic positions, but for international ones as well.
It has really been an honor to meet such highly intelligent, interesting, and capable people from so many cultures and countries, and I hope to maintain my friendships long after graduation. The MMS program has given me the opportunity to meet and interact with students from other cultures in a way that has really been enriching.