Sep 13th, 2019, 11:32 AM

Successful Senior and Alumni Cocktail

By Sabrina Aguirre
Image Credit: AUP Office of Outreach and Advancement
Seniors and Alumni Recount their Time at AUP During Cocktail Hosted by the Office of Outreach and Advancement

On September 5th, 2019, current seniors and alumni of the American University of Paris gathered in the AMEX for a cocktail hosted by the University's Office of Outreach and Advancement. With the challenging yet rewarding responsibility of building relationships between students and alumni, the event was a success and allowed past and current students to reconnect and discuss their time at AUP.

Not only was the cocktail a great way for alumni to reconnect, but the event was also the perfect place for senior students to meet past alumni and find out what types of work and experiences await them once they become AUP grads.

Thrilled to host a cocktail party for members of the senior class and local alumni, the Office of Alumni Affairs said, “We are so excited to welcome seniors and the alumni fold in the spring, so we thought ‘why not begin the celebration now’?”

 AUP Alumni Celebrate at the Senior/Alumni Cocktail. Image Credit: AUP Office of Outreach and Advancement 

One AUP alumna, turned professor, in attendance was Maria Bach, who graduated AUP with a Bachelor's in Economics in 2011. Fast forward to 2019 and she’s back in Combes teaching economic history, development economics and principles of macroeconomics. Bach remembered how she “felt so at home as a student and feel[s] the same way now as a faculty member.” At first, Bach remembered how daunting it was, feeling as if she had been thrown into the deep end, but then she felt comfort when she came back to a place that felt like home with people she knew she could lean on.

  “It’s a great ambiance at AUP, it’s a small community, everyone looks out for each other.”

Fellow 2011 AUP alumna and global communications graduate, Laetitia Chaladon, had similar things to say and called the classes her favorite AUP memory. “To tell the truth, I really miss AUP,” said Chaladon. “The classes and student connections are really unique and something that you cannot find at typical French universities.”

Also in attendance was a large group of AUP alumni from the classes of 2018 and 2019. Whether pursuing degrees of higher education or starting their careers in the workforce, they all could not help but remember their AUP experience as one of the best times of their lives. David Sohmer, IBA graduate of 2019, summed it up:

                                                         “Holy shit this school is epic!”

Shomer is just one of many AUP graduates who decided to come back to AUP for round two. Now pursuing a Masters in International Management, the advice he has for new students is to take advantage of the school.

“At AUP, more than most other places, you get out of it what you put into it, but here, the difference is that there is no limit of what you can put into it… No matter what, they [the teachers and faculty] always figure out a way to help you do it, it always works!”

Alumni, Students and Faculty Enjoy the Event in the AMEX. Image Credit: AUP Office of Outreach and Advancement

Lucille Befort, 2018 global communications and IBA grad, also encouraged students to “enjoy as much as [they] can because it goes by really fast.” Not long after her graduation, Befort did an internship at the International Chamber of Commerce. However, most recently, she is running for Miss France. At AUP, Befort said that she learned how important it was to take every opportunity.

                “Expand your horizons, meet new people, that’s what AUP is all about!”

Two other AUP alumni in attendance, Electra Reihel and Jonathan Morales, became friends as classmates. Now, they are both working together at the International Chamber of Commerce. Reihel studied international comparative politics, international law and environmental studies. Currently, she is helping the Bank Commission plan their technical and annual meetings. Meanwhile, Morales is working in the marketing department where he works on customer relationship management, data mining and email support across all the Commission's departments.

When asked what advice Morales would give AUP students, he said, “Make as many connections as you can because this is a pretty rare university with a lot of diversity. Take advantage of that when you can because you might not get the chance anywhere else.”

Electra Reihel, Cody Mannick and Johnathan Morales Pose In-Front of the AUP Banner. Image Credit: AUP Office of Outreach and Advancement  

Even though approaching graduation may seem daunting and even terrifying to current seniors in attendance, 2019 alumnus Mattheiur Blazevic offered insight that gives students a positive outlook on what lies ahead of them. As a French American, Balzevic always found the style of American graduations to be overdone and a waste of time. But, as it turns out, he really enjoyed the AUP graduation ceremony.

“It was heartwarming and joyful. I wasn’t expecting that at all.” Blazevic even called graduation his favorite AUP memory. Now, as he goes off to work at an NGO in Tanzania called Cross Community Connect, Blazevic feels ready to help Tanzania set up businesses and assist villages in securing the resources that they need. However, he still remains grateful for all that he learned during his time at AUP.

With a toast to close the evening, the senior/alumni cocktail came to an end, but alumni still lingered behind in the AMEX reminiscing about their AUP experience. The truth is, no matter how it is phrased, “take advantage," "get involved," "expand your horizons,” it is clear through the advice of alumni that AUP is a unique and special place with endless opportunities and memories that always make alumni excited to return home and spend time with their AUP community!

The Office of Outreach and Advancement wanted to be sure to let everyone know, “If you missed this event, not to worry - there will be another one in January. Stay tuned!”