FACC - NY |
A 2016 recipient of the Serge Bellanger Scholarship, American student Eden Abrahamian pursued her MBA at the Grenoble Ecole de Management. Recently, we got in touch with her to learn more about her experience and career patch since graduating in 2018.
Financial support for scholars like Eden is made possible through the FACC Foundation Annual Gala, which will be help on Thursday September 27th. Join 270+ French-American CEOs and executives for cocktails, a three-course dinner, entertainment and networking at the Tribeca Rooftop for the premier event of the year. Individual registration and corporate tables are available.
FACC: What is the most striking thing that living & studying abroad taught you about yourself?
Helping people succeed, or being a part of their success, be it academic, personal records, or any type of accomplishment brings me the greatest feeling of satisfaction.
Of the lifelong friends I made during the MBA program, one friendship really stood out in particular. One of my classmates came from an entirely different background in every aspect. Growing up in Nigeria, she had focused all her time on academics – missing out on some activities and skills we may take for granted. She had never learned to ride a bike. In the spring of 2017, she told me she didn’t know how to ride a bike, but wanted to learn. We borrowed a bike from a classmate and I taught her in the corporate square next to the school. I shouted excitedly and squealed with delight, regardless of the audience, as I watched her get the concept. There were a few incidents, scrapes and bruises, her determination and excitement kept her on the bike and within two days she was triumphantly riding around the school, the bike paths and the city. I felt the strongest sense of pride and satisfaction watching my friend pedal confidently and effortlessly, gleaming with joy having mastered a valuable skill. Today, she lives in the Netherlands and rides a bicycle to work every day.
I learned one cannot push someone to accomplish something, one can only encourage, inspire and try to motivate someone else. This experience was the perfect example of encouragement, inspiration and motivation in motion. My personal motto became, “inspire, while aspiring” and I aim to inspire many more people and encourage them to achieve their goals.
FACC: Since graduating in 2018, what direction has your career taken?
EA: I am in the global leadership development program with BMW Financial Services, North America. I completed my thesis while working with BMW on a customer loyalty project and graduated in June of 2018. Currently, I am half way through the program. My position has two international rotations and allows me to gain exposure through collaboration with various teams throughout an 18 month timeline. I spend my free time working with small business owners and helping them develop their sales through my position as an importer and motorcycle broker with one of my companies, Kyus Group. In addition, I oversee the retail operations for LaPoule Mouillee, located in Berkley Michigan in my parent’s shop. All profit is donated to Rwanda Aid, a charity based in Rural South West Rwanda that educates local villagers on farming techniques and empowers them to share their knowledge and enhance their communities.
FACC: Have you been involved with the FACC recently?
EA:I plan on attending some events with the FACC this year and volunteering if there are any opportunities.
FACC: Do you have any advice to future FACC Foundation Serge Bellanger MBA Laureates?
EA: When you experience hardship living abroad, (almost 100% guaranteed to happen), keep your head up and surround yourself with people who encourage, inspire and motivate you.
When I was living in Germany during my international rotation with BMW, I had a lot of culture shock and at times it was completely overwhelming, from not knowing the language to not having a clear idea of the rules or processes. Having a good friend and mentor to reach out to and trade stories of misfortune for words of encouragement as well as relatable experiences made those three months a story of growth and victory and not gloom and defeat. Through encouragement and challenges from my mentor, I channeled a lot of my frustration into physical activity, setting several personal records.