“Dumela!” Mark Orbe opened the Cultural Competency workshop with these words, meaning “I affirm you. I believe in you. And I see great potential in you.” Clearly this was not a cookie-cutter speaker and event.
Mark Orbe is an Ohio University graduate, and knows how to relate to the Schey Sales Centre Candidates and keep us moving during the Cultural Competency in the Workplace workshop. This was not a slow-moving, be lectured at workshop; Mark Orbe made sure that we were always doing something new and made the 3 hour long event fly by. Mark Orbe is an expert in cultural competency with his many years of experience, publishing various books and articles, and being a professor at Western Michigan University. The workshop is focused on how to effectively communicate with people from different cultures while in the workplace. In this every-changing world we live in and are on the verge of having careers in, it is very important to know how to prepare and be ready when we interact with people from different cultures.
The Cultural Competency workshop was interactive and allowed everyone to learn about the world we live and ourselves. We started out with a human scavenger hunt, where we searched around the room for people who had specific knowledge about sayings, important events, and cultural ideas that they shared with others. Next, we broke into small groups and discussed a “global village” where the world was cut down to 100 people, and what the statistics of the world would look like. This was my favorite, eye-opening experience, and showed how diverse our world really is. We had to determine how many people would be white, come from different regions, how many would have electricity, be able to read, and have a college education, just to name a few. The world is much more diverse then many of us thought, and showed that as well-educated college students, we would be the minority. Lastly, we each discovered our individual communication style and how to best leverage our strengths while in the workplace. Overall, we learned how important being culturally knowledgeable is in our career and the rest of our lives.
To say the least, I think every person left that room being better educated on how to be prepared to enter a diverse workplace. This transformational experience was not only a great tool for learning and growing as students, but a fun and interactive way to work in groups and learn from others. Being culturally aware of others and prepared to encounter new people in the workplace is something that every students graduating from Ohio University should be confident and mindful of. Mark Orbe is an amazing and aspiring speaker who made this learning experience more about interacting, growing, and self-awareness. The key takeaways from the Cultural Competency in the workplace are to understand the importance of becoming a culturally competence and a mindful communicator.
Written by: Alyson Kado
To find more about Mark Orbe or to contact him you can find him at