BBA 2014 (Management Sciences - Human Resources Track)
Certificate in Critical Cultural Competence
For Lakshmi, cultural competence has just been a way of life. With parents from India and many relatives there, she grew up in southeast Iowa with an inherent understanding of navigating cultural difference, which has been put to good use in her time at Iowa.
When asked “Why Iowa,” Lakshmi’s response is that of a true blue Hawkeye.
"I always knew I’d be going to the University of Iowa," said Kantamneni. "It is a great school that is fairly close to my hometown. Both of my sisters went to Iowa, so my family had always hoped that I would join them in becoming a Hawkeye."
With an interest in Spanish, Lakshmi took advantage of Iowa’s partnership with the University of Valladolid in Spain, studying there during the summer of 2011. It remains her favorite memory of her undergraduate career
"I got the chance to connect with some amazing students from Iowa as well as the opportunity to learn about Spanish culture and live with a host family," said Kantamneni. "I absolutely loved my study abroad experience."
In the Tippie College of Business, Lakshmi is a founding member of the Global Engagement Student Advisory Board, a group of undergraduate students charged with creating opportunities for American and international students to interact in meaningful ways.
If she could be remembered for one thing during her time at Tippie, it would be that of “helping the Board get on its feet, so that it can initiate amazing programs and making lasting changes for TCOB."
As a Hawkeye with both real-life experience and academic grounding in cultural competence, Lakshmi offers this advice to all Tippie students.
"Being able to interact with people who have different backgrounds and experiences than yourself is crucial for success, not just in a professional setting, but also in any other setting where you are hoping to build strong, lasting relationships," said Kantamneni.
At Tippie, that is what she has strived to do, and she hopes that she has contributed to a Tippie culture of openness and acceptance.
In addition to a career in HR, Lakshmi sees herself possibly coming back to higher education, where she can share her insights and enthusiasm for cultural diversity with future business students.