A Global Village

By Leonardo Banegas, Global MBA student 2012-2013, Honduras

Beyond the academic courses, one of the most exciting elements of my MBA experience is the diversity of the class in all senses: nationalities, skills, ages, backgrounds and personalities.

The class is a real global village. We have 14 nationalities represented with classmates coming from Qatar, Russia, France, China, U.S., Indonesia, Mexico, India, Germany, Japan, Canada, Taiwan and Honduras.

Our backgrounds and skills are quite different too. We are coming from different sectors and different academics experiences, some students already have a PhD and others are coming from very prestigious universities. The range of experiences extends from entrepreneurs to the petroleum industry in the Middle East and also a French mountain troop (a military officer who has led operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Africa).

Such diversity in the class is giving us the most important lessons in our MBA, because everyone has different personalities and experiences, therefore each team member has different leadership styles and approach to resolve complex issues.

It is not just about diversity inside the classroom. Outside the classroom, as well, we have good dinners, a real immersion in the local cuisine of different countries….

When we are invited for a dinner or party by our ESSEC classmates, we are always sure to spend an exotic moment.

We were first invited by our French classmate. It was a “SoirĂ©e Vin et Fromage” (wine and cheese party) and we needed nothing else to be convinced about the French cuisine. We particularly appreciated the concept of the dinner; on a table, we had different groups of cheese, wine, and bread that were to be tasted together. Following the French tradition taught by our host, we had to begin with the mildest cheese and to finish with the strongest (including the legendary Roquefort).

The second exotic dinner was organized by one of our Chinese classmates. Each of the Chinese and French dishes represented one person of the group. That day I discovered that my friend was a real artist and cook! ;)

Finally, we were hosted by our Russian classmate. We learned how to cook the delightful Borscht soup (to be enjoyed with some Vodka made in Russia!), and I learned how to prepare the Russian Caviar!

Now I realize that I should be the next one, and welcome my friends for some baleadas from Honduras and other Latin American food!

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