Lectures, discussions and social events build camaraderie, enhance students' global perspectives
3/2/2007 - At the Donald P. Jacobs Center, it is common to encounter students conversing in a language other than English. With more than 40 countries and 25 languages represented among the Kellogg School student body, such polylingual talent should come as no surprise.
Kellogg students are embracing their cultural diversity, and they have created a new series of activities to celebrate it. From Feb.19 to 23, the Kellogg Student Administration (KSA) hosted MOSAIC, a variety of events that highlighted the cultural richness found at the Kellogg School. Indeed, Kellogg professors and administrators have made it a priority to provide students with experiences and education that expand their global perspectives, which is why faculty were also participants in MOSAIC.
Dan Goldman, KSA president, and Alfredo Santos, the group’s vice president of global affairs, were pleased with the initiative’s success.
“Many people came to me and said, ‘Thank you because this week I really felt like I was part of the bigger community,'” Santos said.
Santos and Goldman, both 2007 MBA candidates, said the MOSAIC initiative was part of their team’s platform when they ran for KSA offices last year.
“Kellogg and its students spend so much time studying and even getting to visit other places around the world, we sometimes forget to stop and really think about what is going on right here, what different students bring,” Goldman said. “This is one chance for everyone to take a pause and really reflect on how diverse Kellogg is and how that diversity feeds into our culture.”
The week’s events began with a lecture by Professor Tim Calkins on global branding titled, “Building the Chicago Brand in China.” Three panels followed throughout the week, including “Microfinance in Emerging Markets: Latin America & India,” “When in Asia: How to Navigate Cultural Differences in the Asian Business Environment,” and “Management Philosophies in the 21st century: Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ vs. ‘The Bhagavad-Gita.’” The week closed with the Taste of Kellogg during TG, which offered cuisines from 15 student clubs, and a party featuring international music and student DJs.
Professor Bala Balachandran, the J.L. Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting Information and Management, participated in the discussion on management philosophies. He said that as business has continued to expand globally, there has been a recent phenomenon to study these important Eastern texts with regard for their potential management insights.
In an environment in which profits typically come first, Balachandran said the Bhagavad-Gita challenges managers to put profits last. “You should not be driven by profit, by greed, by making more money. Do what is expected of you as a business person and let profit come naturally,” he said. “If you are doing the best you can, you are going to get the results you deserve.”
Goldman said he was impressed by the energy and engagement of the students in MOSAIC’s activities. “I was so excited to see how many people got involved. It was impressive when you stopped and looked at what they are all bringing back to Kellogg and the greater community.”
“Each culture has its unique traditions,” said Yalcin Oksal, a first-year representative on the KSA’s global affairs committee. “I thought the Kellogg multicultural community also should have its unique traditions to reflect the aspects of each culture represented.”
Santos and Goldman said they hope MOSAIC becomes a tradition at Kellogg, one day blossoming into a series of events that will last for a whole month.