Monday, November 12, 2012

Forging New Friendships at Kelley

By Abby Foster
First-Year MBA, Business Marketing Academy 

Going out to eat is a favorite past time of mine, and I thoroughly enjoy trying new foods from different countries. Sushi, falafels, curry, gyros...I rarely shy away from ethnic meals. After meeting students from all over the world this semester, I have expanded my tastes even more. However, there are still days when I crave a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese. 

Mac and cheese is a staple for most American children, so when we had to choose a recognizable food brand and product in our marketing class, Kraft mac and cheese came to mind. Our group began working on the assignment, but we stopped when my Peruvian teammate, Julio, leaned over and asked me about the dish. It turns out that four of our ten group members had never tasted macaroni and cheese. We quickly checked our schedules, and found a night to meet at Punit's apartment for a team dinner.
Tom, Punit, Naoki, Nina, Erin, Abby, Ruchir, and Julio enjoying our team dinner.
Having attended IU for my undergraduate degree as well, I became accustomed to working with students from different parts of the world. However, when you spend the entire semester with the same five team members as we do in the core, you start to look beyond cultural differences and instead see them as opportunities to learn from each other and share experiences. Our mac and cheese night ended up consisting of Japanese appetizers, an American entree, Indian desserts, and lots of interesting conversation in between. We all went around speaking in our native languages (which include Spanish, Indian, Japanese, and Ukrainian) and shared our travel plans for the upcoming holiday season. What was supposed to be a quick dinner turned into a 3-hour event, and we plan on hosting another dinner soon.

The Kelley culture truly is built on collaboration and teamwork...and it extends beyond the classroom. We enjoy getting together to talk about our backgrounds and learn from each other's experiences. Over the past three months, my teammates have become my friends. I know we will continue to spend time together outside of class even after the core is over.


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