Passport Day

Hi Everyone!

One of the main reasons that I decided to matriculate at Stern, and a factor that really sets Stern apart, is just how diverse our student body is and more importantly how we embrace that diversity.

But first, I should really start with a little background about myself.

I was born in Virginia (hence the name), but had left the country and moved abroad to Asia at a mere 6 months of age. My family moved frequently, and I as a result I spent 6 years of my childhood in China (where we are originally from), 11 in the Philippines, and the last one divided amongst several Central Asia countries, with a base in Uzbekistan.

Being a Third Cultural Kid, one of the main things that drew me to Stern was in fact how international our Full-Time MBA student population is, a fact that is evident both inside and out of the classroom. One particular event that really lets everyone celebrate their culture, background, and heritage is the annual Passport Day organized by the Stern Student Government (SGov). The event allows students to sign up to represent their country and showcase traditional cuisine, costumes, music and/or performances.

Countries Represented in the Full-Time MBA Program
Countries Represented in the Full-Time MBA Program

This year, 47 of the 63 countries had participated in Passport Day. We had amazing performances from a variety of countries, including dances from India, Azerbaijan, and Morocco. All the dances were choreographed and performed by students (here’s a performance of the India dance!).

Personally, a couple friends and I had decided to collaborate and do a combined South East Asia booth for the event. We represented three countries in the region, and had local delicacies from each, including Tea Leaf Salad from Burma/Myanmar, Lumpia from the Philippines, egg tarts from Singapore, and a combined mango coconut sticky rice dessert. The last in particular we all made as a group and was a huge hit!

The South East Asia's mango coconut sticky rice dessert!
The South East Asia’s mango coconut sticky rice dessert!

It was an impressive event and reminded me of why I chose to come to Stern, a place that is brimming with culture and collaboration and what amazing international people I get to have as my fellow classmates.

It’s a Small World

Yesterday the International Committee at Stern hosted Stern Passport Day, an occasion for Stern students to get together and share their traditional cuisines, costumes and performances with each other.  While sitting in the student lounge I overheard an MBA1 student say, ‘’Passport day has already made my Business School experience worth it”. I could not agree more. The mouth-watering assortment of cuisines, the vibrant costumes and the charged up performances lived up to all the hype. A bunch of South Asians, including me, danced to some Bollywood tunes. The Stern community showed up in large numbers and embraced all the different cultures.

Someone suggested that instead of organizing passport day annually we should try and have it every semester. The Stern administration encourages students to take leadership on matters concerning the Stern community. Last semester, another Sternie felt that Stern needs a ‘Stern Cultures club’.  Four months on and she is in the process of finalizing the board for the club. I am really looking forward to some of the events the club is planning to organize.

I cannot end this post without a mention of my Spring break. I had mentioned in my previous post that I was organizing the India Trek this year. We visited five cities across India. We landed in New Delhi, the capital of India. We went on to visit the magnificent Taj Mahal as well as the forts of Rajasthan. We got to soak some sun on the beaches of Goa. Eight days of non-stop shenanigans ended with an alumni reception at Mumbai. It was hard to come back to reality after the trip. All of us got along so well that we have already had our first get-together in New York. Great memories and good friends for life.

Until next time,


Jam Packed Stern Weekend

Hello Friends!

Now that we are in the homestretch until graduation, all of us MBA2s are trying to pack in as much Stern as possible over these next 6 weeks. The end of this week is jam packed with some pretty cool events that I have definitely been looking forward to for a while now. Especially since they combine two of my favorite things – food and cover bands!

This afternoon is the annual Stern Passport Day one of my favorite events. Celebrating the rich cultural heritage of NYU Stern’s student body, hundreds of current students, prospective students, faculty and staff gather each year for the NYU Stern International Passport Day. The event serves as an opportunity to experience Stern’s diversity firsthand, as students get to share their country’s unique heritage by showcasing traditional cuisine, costumes, music and/or performances.  It is an awesome event, with tons of delicious food and really great dance performances.

Later on tonight is the spring performance of Beauty School Dropouts, Stern’s very own MBA cover band. The band is performing at Sullivan Hall just around the corner and it is sure to be a super fun night!

Bright and early tomorrow morning I’ll be attending the EEX Club’s Entrepreneurship Summit. The club has decided to change up the traditional way of doing conferences and has planned a day full of mini treks to different start-ups all around the city including FourSquare, Warby Parker, and so many more. Can’t wait to check out these awesome companies first hand!

Happy weekend!


The New Semester

Another week has gone by, just as crazy as the last, and I’m pretty sure that officially sets the tone for this semester. I’m definitely going to be busy, but it’s all very exciting! A couple of things I’ve been involved in lately:

I’m on the SCorp (Stern Student Corporation) International Committee and we’re in charge of organizing Passport Day. It’s an annual event where international students get to show off their country’s food & culture; and there’s even a competition for the “best country,” voted by the students. It’s going to take place in April, but we had the kickoff this week, so there was a lot of prepping and marketing to get people interested in the event.

I’m also participating in the Exchange Student Buddy Program, which is a volunteer program where each incoming exchange student is partnered with a continuing Sternie to make sure that the exchange students have someone to turn to if they need assistance with anything. There are 26 exchange students this semester, and we had a mixer last week; I thought it was a great opportunity to welcome them, and I hope they agree!

Finally, I want to mention the project that I am most excited about this semester! One of the greatest initiatives at Stern (in my humble opinion) is the Stern Consulting Corps. It’s a program run by the Office of Student Engagement, where selected teams of students get to work with a wide range of organizations to help them tackle their problems. I think it’s an amazing opportunity to gain some hands-on experience, and extend our education beyond the classroom. My team will be working with the National Board of Review for the next 10 weeks, and we had our first client meeting yesterday! I will refrain from talking about the specifics of the project, but I will say that I have a great team, and we’re very excited about the prospects of making a change.

I think it’s fair to say that this semester is off to a good start.