Where are you now? How long have you been there?
I currently live in Paris, France, and have lived there for the last five and a half years.
Where else have you lived?
When I graduated from KU I moved to Bielefeld, Germany, to start the first part of my two year graduate program. It wasn’t a good experience. After staying there for four months I then moved to Paris.
B.A. in Economics, French, and Mathematics (2007)
What’s your job title and the name of your company or organization?
I started my company, S.T. Prep (standardizedtests.org) four years ago while I was finishing up my master’s.
What do you do?
When I first started I simply worked as a coach that helped people get into M.B.A. and Ph.D. programs. I helped students prepare for the standardized tests, write the entrance essays, and prepare for the interviews. Now, however, I do less coaching and more business development.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love to compete, to improve my business, and then see the results.
What do you enjoy most about where you live?
The food, and in particular, the baguettes. (I’m not joking)
What are the biggest differences between where you live now and living in Lawrence, Kansas?
Well, as you might imagine, there are quite a few differences between Paris and Lawrence. However, as you integrate into the society and learn to really speak the language a lot of the differences that you first noticed seem to disappear. For example, many people think that the French are less welcoming. This is true to a point, but definitely not always. For example, if you start a job in a new work place I feel that you get to know your co-workers just as fast as you would in the US (and Lawrence).
Paris is also a particularly safe city. I’ve walked around many of the “dangerous” areas late at night and I’ve never had any trouble. That’s not to say that Lawrence is a dangerous city, but things such as gun violence does exist, whereas in Paris it’s almost unheard of.
Jayhawks Around the World
On the other hand, people in Lawrence smile way more in public, and are generally nicer to strangers on the street it seems.
How do you use what you learned as a KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences student in your career?
It’s funny how sometimes you end up using knowledge that you never thought would come in handy. I studied French because I liked the language and because I didn’t want to graduate early. I never thought that I would end up using it every day. Also, some of the general principles, and even more importantly, the way of thinking that came with studying economics is quite useful. Finally, the analytical ability that came with studying math helps me use data and analyze certain situations that would otherwise remain incomprehensible.
Favorite place in the world?
Lisbon, Portugal. I was only there for five days, but it was wonderful.
Favorite KU memory?
I loved pretty much my entire experience at KU. However, one memory that sticks out in my mind right now was getting a shout out from Chancellor Hemenway on graduation day. That was a nice way to close a pleasant chapter of my life.