"Hi! My name is Aya Ghaleb and I’m currently doing my MBA at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom and today I’d like to talk to you about my story with diversity in the MBA environment. Before coming to Cranfield, I always worked in teams with people with very similar backgrounds; they’ve been to similar universities; and they almost have similar lifestyles. And then I arrived to Cranfield and I was impressed by my colleagues. Our cohort consists of 70 people from 27 different countries. They have extensive experience in various sectors and industries. So, you can imagine the level of debate and discussions we have in class. I myself had an opportunity to work in a very diverse team during the first term of the MBA. Our team consisted of six people from Japan, India, Russia, United Kingdom, and myself, from Egypt. It was very hard, at the beginning, to coordinate and to reach a middle ground because obviously we have different motivations; we have different expectations; and even our communication styles were very different. But, by time, when we realized that we could actually leverage our differences and that it is because of our unique set of skills that we bring different things to the table, that we could actually outperform. And when we started doing that, and when we started trusting each other, we became a role model to the rest of the teams and we outperformed in every single project we delivered. And so I think it’s all about communication. When you’re open in communicating with others, when you’re flexible and understanding of how others perceive the map of the world, you become less focused on how different you are, and more focused on how together we can create value."