Written by staff blogger Cristina Ruiz
Imagine stepping into a room and hearing at least 4 different languages being spoken. Or sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal and tasting kimchee and aloo gobi alongside the turkey and mashed potatoes. Although they haven’t left their home country, American students are the cultural minority at Hult – often for the first time in their lives. For students from the United States, the Hult experience carries a unique new set of challenges – as well as transformative global exposure.
“Imagine stepping into a room and hearing at least 4 different languages being spoken. Or sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal and tasting kimchee and aloo gobi alongside the turkey and mashed potatoes. “
A classroom that is just as challenging…
“In many ways, being at Hult is as challenging as being in a foreign country,” current Hult Boston MBA Emma Rentz from Washington DC described. And this unique challenge is the reason many American students decide to come to Hult. Charity Maddox, current MIB at Hult Boston from North Carolina, explained, “I chose Hult because I could have the world in one class… I have stepped out of my comfort zone and have started learning new languages, gestures, and foods.” It allowed Zachary Murrell, current Hult Boston MIB from Iowa, to experience a completely different social and educational environment: “For me, that means being a minority for the first time in my life. There is no one single majority ethnically or nationally. It allows all perspectives to be heard and gives you a taste of how different social and professional conventions are throughout the world.” Steve Kenton, MBA Boston ’16 from Seattle, explained, “When we are put in a position to work or study with people that come from completely opposite backgrounds from ourselves, it is at places like Hult where we see people adapt and make it work – at least those teams that succeed. I found this to be the most rewarding aspect of my Hult experience; having little or no say about who I work with and then taking the strengths, weaknesses, and backgrounds of a group of individuals and finding creative ways to harness each of these traits into a positive outcome for everyone.”
Seeing your own culture through a new lens
Students from the US on our Boston and San Francisco campuses often find themselves acting as American cultural ambassadors. “I get stuck calculating the tip a lot,” Emma joked. But this experience also allows them to view US customs in a new light. Elizabeth Carey, current MIB student at Hult Boston from Connecticut, said, “It’s nice to discover it all again with people who never have. The first-day people got excited over a yellow school bus because it had ‘been in lots of high school movies’ when this was something I had used for years and years without a second thought.” Steve Kenton said, “I was shocked at the kinds of preconceived notions my fellow students had of the US and the opportunity to dispel some, learn about our culture, and have a truly transformational experience in my country was something I was keen to facilitate.”
“My peers are coming from different countries, almost all having never lived in California before, and this creates an environment in which everyone is at once discovering a new place together and creating a local social scene from scratch,” current Hult San Francisco MBA John Rosenthal from Texas explained, “This is a more enthralling experience than attending a domestic school with local MBAs who are already set in their local social circles and habits of life.” Diane Tran, current Hult Boston MIB from Massachusetts, shared, “Being an American, especially a local, is an oddity here, but I have enjoyed learning the customs of other countries and developing friendships along the way. The best part has been introducing my new friends and classmates to the city and the state that I know best and that I love.”
Friends in every corner of the world
The global experience gained at Hult doesn’t cease once students graduate. Regardless of where Hult alumni end up living, there are always opportunities to strengthen and expand one’s Hult network. “Now that I’ve graduated and moved back to New York, I’ve had the opportunity to support many Hultians during visits for interviews by providing a place to stay and/or extending my network,” Shannta Badgett, Hult San Francisco MBA ’16 from New York City, shared, “The world seems so much smaller now.” Steve Kenton’s Hult experience has carried on into his career in Development & Communications at Banfield Foundation in Portland, Oregon:
“You must think global when you think about business. Being able to understand business through a global lens and being able to implement your classroom learnings into diverse teams will only serve to separate the business good from the business great in years to come.”
If you would like to find out more about Hult’s business programs, download a brochure here.
Cristina Ruiz is a staff blogger based on Hult’s Boston campus. Her interests include travel, education, marketing, and finding the best food. She loves sharing the impressive and innovative things Hult students, faculty, and alumni are doing and giving people a taste of what life is like for a North American at Hult.