That's for an MBA essay. I feel my answer is all over the place as I wanted to list all the international experiences I had. Please let me know how I can improve to make the message stronger and improve the flow of the essay. Should I cut back on some of the expriences and just focus on one? Or any other specific suggestions on how this can be improved is much appreciated!!
Our school offers a truly global and diverse experience. Describe any significant experiences outside of your home country or culture. What did you gain and how will your experience contribute to London Business School?
From a very early age, I had the curiosity to learn more about the world and expand my horizons beyond my home country. I was eighteen when I moved to the U.S., where I had no family or friends, to pursue my studies in engineering. Being in DC, I met people from diverse background and learned to appreciate the uniqueness of each.
The international experience I gained from my studies was put to the test when I started working in consulting. In my three years as a consultant, I worked with clients in four different markets in the Middle East and Africa. Growing up in Arab country, I did not expect to find difficulties integrating in other Arab countries. However, I was chocked to see the spectrum of culture within the Arab world. The work ethics in Egypt was very different than what I was used to, and their pace of work a lot slower. In Kuwait, I was pleasantly surprised with the level of freedom and empowerment of women in organizations. Most of the top position in the company for which I worked were held by local women, and their role was ever expanding in the society.
By far however the biggest cultural chock I witnessed was through my work in Nigeria. It was my first visit to Sub Saharan Africa. I had never seen a country with such high disparity between rich and poor. Upon arrival at the airport, as I was going through passport control, the security guard took my passport and to return it to me, he asked me for a "gift". Despite that disparity, I was impressed by the level of dedication people had for work, and how genuine and kind hearted they were.
Most importantly, the culture I learnt most about through these experiences was my own. Although I was born and raised in Lebanon, I had taken many things for granted and needed to compare our customs to other Western and Arab customs to gain a more critical view of the political situation in the country and understand the root of all the problems we have been facing.
All those experiences allowed me to have a more open minded spirit, and allowed me to understand the diverse cultures of this world, how to appreciate each, and how to quickly and seamlessly adapt my work style to those different cultures. I think I will be able to add diversity to the classroom, and offer my knowledge of the emerging market. Finally, my open-mindedness will help me appreciate what my peers have to offer and I will collaborate with them in creating the international experience that LBS has nurtured every year with students from across the globe.