IUGB Foundation Meets with IUGB Alumni in Atlanta
Saturday, February 17, 2018, 2:00PM, Atlanta, Georgia . You may think Mary Mac’s Tearoom, a 1945 Atlanta landmark opened in the tough post-WWII days, is an odd place to discuss modern day topics such as global internships and scholarships, immigration and various educational and occupational challenges and solutions.
However, on this rainy Saturday afternoon, that’s exactly what happened. A total of 14 AFNET (Alumni and Faculty Network) members, friends, and IUGB Foundation’s Executive Director Amini Kajunju and her team met to discuss the post-graduation landscape facing them and succeeding graduating cohorts.
IUGB Foundation/AFNET members and friends moved past the tourist crowds to enter the “Board Room,” an appropriate place for the business to follow. Each alumna/alumnus introduced themselves and revealed facts about them previously unknown. In addition to the multiple degrees they already held, we discovered among our group: a hairdresser, dancer, cook, interior designer, future politician and at least one fundraiser!
Subsequently, led by Ms. Kajunju, all identified and addressed their biggest issue: immigration. An animated conversation followed and contained many questions including those about the types of visas available–other than student visas–and how to best discover their options. Alumni also wanted ways to align and/or become closely affiliated with various organizations and businesses. In addition, because so many seek terminal degrees, they need financial resources and assistance with Master’s and PhD programs.
Nearly everyone desired to return to Côte d’Ivoire to live, work and build their own business. Our alumni are very interested in educational program diversity and fight hard against cultural pressures to ‘make a living’ rather than pursue their own passions. They acknowledged their own uniqueness: GPAs 3.57 or higher; a strong history of extracurricular program achievement and a record of having completed their degrees in half the time of resident students. Further, their IUGB education allowed them to transfer easily into the U.S. educational system. Finally, alumni pointed out how they will significantly contribute to the economies of multiple continents as many have worked, studied and interned worldwide previously. IUGB alumni present formidable ROI to all who have invested in their education. What’s next for AFNET? Among other things, IUGB Foundation will prepare and offer immigration, small business administration/entrepreneurship, and career workshops, and get AFNET involved in its coming events. Way to do a working brunch, AFNET-thanks for your input!