McDonough School of Business
News Story

MBA Students Celebrate Campus Diversity and Culture During Global Fest

A Bollywood workshop, bachata dancing, dumpling making, tabletop games, and henna painting were just a few of the many cultural experiences offered during the MBA Global Fest in November at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. 

Students and friends of the MBA program convened on the Hilltop over several days to celebrate, honor, and showcase the rich diversity of McDonough’s student body. The event was a culturally immersive experience that highlighted traditions from across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The nearly week-long celebration created a vibrant tapestry of traditions that gave attendees exposure to new cultures and helped them share their own roots with others. 

The student-led event showcased food, music, and art. Rohan Parekh (MBA’24), who serves as the vice president of international students within McDonough’s Student Government Association, believes cultural events are crucial in order to instill an inclusive environment within the Georgetown community. 

“These celebrations are an extension of Georgetown’s commitment to cura personalis,” Parekh said. “Not only does the school encourage academics and recruitment, but it also devotes time and effort towards making their students more culturally aware.” 

To connect with a ritual from Japan, the global festival also included a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, which is also known as chanoyu. Participants observed the preparation and serving of matcha in a dedicated tea room, where the “host” cleaned the utensils and walked attendees through a unique Japanese experience. Throughout the ceremony, participants learned how to make tea and were immersed in an experience that fosters connection, mindfulness, and respect. 

Students participating in the Japanese tea ceremony.

Photo Courtesy: Maria Camila Gutierrez

Francisca Chinyamakobvu (MBA’25), a student from Zimbabwe, attended the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. 

“I think it’s very helpful to have cultural awareness, so that you can appreciate people’s backgrounds,” Chinyamakobvu said. “Even though there are significant differences among each culture, I enjoy finding the many commonalities between them.” 

During the dumpling workshop, which was led by students from China, participants created, filled, and shaped the traditional Chinese dish. 

Another participant, Dheeraj Gurudi (MBA’24), highlighted the significance of these cultural initiatives in order to bolster the overall educational experience within the MBA program.

“MBA Global Fest is an opportunity to understand different cultures, which is another way of learning,” Gurudi said. “As an international student from India, I have been able to understand other people’s values and perspectives.”

The celebration concluded with a talent show, where students from countries such as India, China, Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands took the stage. There was stand-up comedy, dance, music, and a fashion show with attire that is unique to the different countries represented.

Students participating in the talent show.

Photo Courtesy: Maria Camila Gutierrez

“These celebrations make students proud of their roots, expose students to their classmates’ lives prior to business school, and create an overall positive and inclusive experience within the McDonough community,” Parekh said.