Festivals

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Sigh. Celebrating the New Year with my friends while on vacation was so much fun. But now it’s January, we’re back in school, it  just snowed for seven days straight, and there’s nothing to look forward to until Spring Break…

Wait, what? Lunar New Year? What’s that? Are we going to have a celebration for it? Well of course we are!

The Smeal community will be celebrating Lunar New Year on February 13, 2013. This special event, brought to you by the MBA Association, celebrates some of our classmates’ wonderful traditions and is open to all students and staff. We’ll start gathering in the MBA Commons at around 6:30 for some pre-dinner festivities, and begin serving delicious traditional Chinese foods starting at 7:00 pm. And of course – there’s entertainment! The festivities will include dances, games, and musical performances by your classmates. We also invite your partners and children to join us in the celebrations!

Hope to see you all there!


Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, is the most important festival for Chinese people. We normally go home and celebrate with our families. It’s the first time in my life that I am away from home for the New Year. How should we celebrate it? There were several reasons why it was so important. First, China is an important part of the Smeal Community; second, it was a great chance to help our colleagues get to know China and the Chinese culture; third, it would also be a great opportunity for the Chinese students to give back to the Smeal Community. After coming back from Christmas break, the Chinese students gathered together to discuss a celebration plan which consisted of three parts: Exhibition, Performance, and Dinner. After we got the plan confirmed by 220 and MBAA officers, we divided our action plan and delegated responsibilities to three teams. Aphra was responsible for the Exhibition, John was responsible for the dinner, logistics and etc, and I was responsible for the performance and interactive games.

To be honest, I was worried at the very beginning because I personally don’t have any talent show experience and neither did my teammates. How can we work it out? We first figured out what we wanted to do – a presentation of the history of Chinese New Year and how people celebrate it, a video clip of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, performance of singing, dancing, Tai-chi, violin, interactive games and etc. I was really touched that all of my classmates were very enthusiastic about it, everybody was asking “KK, what can I do to help?” “KK, let me know when you need any help.” Amy first helped me to design the invitation letter and flyer, and everybody liked it. Lina was responsible for organizing the singing performance. She took initiatives and tried to get as many people involved as possible. We finally had three programs for singing – “What a beautiful flower”- girls group performance, “gong xi fa cai”- guys group singing, and Mike’s solo of a famous folk song-“wu su li jiang.” Amishi, a professional dancer, planned and performed a traditional Chinese dance for everybody. Yao, a second year MBA student, planned an Act and Guess game and she also performed a special instrumental solo on the violin. Chao and Johnathon planned to show our colleagues to the art of Tai-chi. Everybody was really excited!

Chinese New Year 2

The Chinese New Year was on February 7, 2008. It was a very busy season, and everybody had a lot of assignments, cases, team meetings and interviews. Take me for example, I had an interview with Dell in the morning, two projects in the afternoon, and also had to decorate the Atrium since the celebration festivities started at 6:30 pm. We decorated the Atrium with various traditional Chinese adornments, such as lanterns, paper cuttings, and couplets. The Business Building was filled with a Chinese festival atmosphere.

Then, the most exciting thing happened right before the Celebration started. I got a phone call from the Dell interviewer. I thought he wanted to come to the celebration, but surprisingly he announced good news of a summer internship offer from Dell. I was so excited! I didn’t expect to hear back from them so soon. I told him that was the best New Year’s gift I have ever had!

The celebration started at 6:30pm, and it went very well. The audience was impressed by our colleagues’ talent show. Chinese songs, dances, tai-chi, violin, interactive games, everything was very Chinese, but without boundary. Everybody had a good time and the evening ended by enjoying a feast of Chinese food.

Special thanks to Robin and Susan and the MBAA officers for their support!

Thanks to Dr. V, Craig, Ram, Will, Rachna, Mike, Rugi, Andrea, Carl, Ben and all attendees for their participation!

Thanks to Amy, Kat, Jamie, Joannie, Priyanka, Tarun, Sahil and everyone involved for your time and effort to practice!

Gong Xi Fa Cai! (Good luck and Good Fortune!)

Chinese New Year 3

-Lingling Yuan

MBA Class of 2009


To give back to the community, several MBAs volunteered at The Second Mile Fall Harvest Festival. The Second Mile is a non-profit organization for children who need additional support and positive adult role models. The Second Mile was founded right here in State College by Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State Football Defensive Coordinator.

At the Fall Harvest Festival, the MBAA held two booths – pumpkin cookie decorating and bean bag toss. More than 60 kids showed up in Halloween costumes and smiles on their faces! I had tons of fun helping the kids decorate cookies with icing, sprinkles, and candy corn. Actually, I think I had as much fun at the event as the kids did. It truly was a rewarding experience to help provide the kids with such a wonderful time. Our Holiday Party with The Second Mile will be here soon and I can’t wait for the event.

Melissa Matson
Originally from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Melissa is in Penn State’s integrated five-year Science BS/MBA program. Here at Smeal, Melissa is focusing on Corporate Financial Analysis and Planning.


Diwali is perhaps the most celebrated Indian Festival around the globe. It is the festival of lights that marks the start of the new year for many Indians. What started as a mythological event marking the victory of good over evil has now evolved into an opportunity to celebrate with all, near and dear.

Keeping up with the same spirit, this year, the international student body decided to not only organize the Diwali celebrations, but also involve our domestic and non-Indian international friends in all the events. The show was hosted by two of my colleagues, Sasi and Sahil. Amongst the cultural events, there were some Bollywood dance performances, a Hindi song, and the grand finale was the fashion show which deserves special mention. Right from the time I started choreographing the fashion show until the final dress rehearsal, this event was nothing but loads of fun. The central theme was ethnic Indian and the participants were diverse. Dean Sheehan, our celebrity guest in the fashion show, walked the ramp in traditional Indian attire amongst applause from students, administration and faculty. The organizing committee had put together a delicious spread for everyone to enjoy at the end of the event.

Diwali 2007 is by far my most memorable Diwali. Having performed in the various events, I witnessed first hand the commendable spirit of the Smeal-MBA family. It was amazing to see how a diverse student body came together and embraced a completely different culture and dress style with finesse and enthusiasm. A lot of people worked together to make this event a success and I believe that it is this collective effort and unanimous enthusiasm that the Smeal-MBA program is all about.

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Amishi Patel (Smeal MBA 2009)

amishi.jpg Amishi Patel has 8 years of experience as a Computer (Software) engineer. She has worked as a Senior Developer, Team Lead in Companies like Citigroup (NY), Western Asset Management (LA), and Tata Consultancy Services (India).