Mirela Baba, MILR '05
Cross-Cultural Integration: One Student's Story
A Long and Winding Road from Romania to ILR to Colgate-Palmolive
I am a graduating student in the Masters of Industrial and Labor Relations (MILR) program. I was born and raised in Romania and following my graduation from Romania's Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest 1997, I came to the US to work as a tax consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and later on assumed an international assignment in the UK. Before coming to the ILR School, I lived in France and worked as an independent tax consultant. Since coming to the ILR School, I have been actively involved in the ILR student activities and in the ILR International Programs. As member of SHRLOE (Strategic HR, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness Group) I worked on a leadership development project with Corning and as member of the ILR International Graduate Student Organization (IGSA), I lead a student initiative aimed at enriching the international focus of the MILR curriculum. As part of the ILR International Programs I have had the opportunity to leverage my international experience by promoting the international dimension of ILR research. During the summer of 2004, I had an internship with Colgate-Palmolive as an HR Generalist and upon graduation I will be returning to Colgate-Palmolive as an HR Associate in Colgate's HR Leadership Development Program.
How ILR Encouraged Cross-Cultural Experience
I have always enjoyed traveling, discovering new cultures, and learning foreign languages. For that reason, working abroad and studying at the ILR School has been an enriching and educating experience for me. Being an international student at the ILR School has not only broadened my notions of cultural adaptability and expanded my network of international friends but also helped me deepen and leverage my previous cross-cultural experience in both a professional and social setting. In an increasingly global world, having experienced life in a new and unfamiliar cultural setting has helped me better understand the challenges faced by cross-cultural integration, and build on the opportunities presented by such a culturally diverse group of people here at the ILR School. By interacting with students, professors, visiting fellows from all over the world I had once more the opportunity to enhance my cultural awareness capabilities. I have had the chance to learn about the Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Canadian, Brazilian cultures (just to mention a few) directly from my international colleagues. In the academic / classroom setting I have witnessed a growing trend of encouraging students to engage more in cross-cultural socialization. Professors as well as students have been displaying an increasingly active interest in sharing and bringing to class their different international experiences.
- Mirela Baba, MILR '05