mms student
Guest blogger Zeel Shah carves a pumpkin for the first time.

After two really short but busy terms in the MMS: FOB program at Fuqua, we got a much-needed fall break. After the surge of on-campus recruiting, the mad frenzy of classes, company information sessions, networking, job applications, and interviews, getting a week off was just what we needed. We returned to Fuqua refreshed, and energized for the cultural events that awaited us.

Fuqua and Duke welcomed us back from fall break with the festivities of Halloween and Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. The MMS Connoisseurs Club organized a Halloween Party for the class, and MMSers turned up dressed in really interesting costumes. My classmates were dressed up as robots and jellyfish while others emulated famous personalities such as Steve Jobs and Amy Winehouse.

mms students in costume
Dressed like Blue Devils for Halloween.

One of my classmates (and a blogger), Palak, and I dressed up as Blue Devils in the true spirit of the beginning of the basketball season. I was overjoyed to carve my very first pumpkin! Celebrating this very American festival with my MMS classmates brought me a lot closer to them, and I could feel the sense of family that exists within the program.

After I learned more about American culture and customs by celebrating Halloween, it was my turn to share some of my cultural traditions since Diwali was up next! The festival of lights is India’s most widely celebrated festival. Diwali was the theme for the Fuqua Friday that week! There was great Indian food and many students dressed in traditional Indian outfits.

The DJ played Bollywood music during Fuqua Friday and in no time everyone was dancing. I really enjoyed teaching my friends from Korea, America, Africa, and China some Bollywood moves. They enjoyed themselves so much that they all came to the Bollywood party afterwards. INDUS, Fuqua’s South Asian Business Club, organized the Bollywood party to celebrate the festival.

students at diwali festival
Celebrating Diwali at Fuqua.

Fuqua’s Global Week

The cultural exchange that was encouraged by the two fall holidays was escalated to a new level with what followed — Fuqua’s Global Week. The week was a huge cultural event and each day included various activities that celebrated the plethora of cultures represented at Fuqua. From food tastings to international movie screenings, to a display of clothing from various countries during a fashion show, it was a truly global experience. The week culminated in the Fuqua’s Got Talent show, an annual competition organized by the International Business Club. Six of my classmates and I performed together, which was great fun. See a video of our performance! Our group was very diverse, and included some friends who had enjoyed learning Indian dances during Diwali. We danced to a medley of Indian folk and Bollywood songs, and were the first runners up in the contest! Other performances included Korean pop, as well as American pop and rock.

mms student dancers
In costume with my dance group for Fuqua’s Got Talent.

In the past few weeks, I learned so much about the different cultures, foods, dances, and other traditions of my classmates, and I feel like I now know my classmates so much better. It’s wonderful to be in an environment that’s so open and receptive. After Fuqua’s Got Talent, everyone wanted to learn Bollywood dances. I am going to have a good time teaching my classmates some moves! Being in a program that is so culturally diverse teaches us much more than just accounting and finance. I think I am now a more aware citizen of the world, and have a better appreciation for different cultures.