Kouamé Konan is an international student from the Ivory Coast, a country located in West Africa. In Spring 2017, Kouamé graduated from Moorpark College, majoring in Business. He is now on his way to Canada where he will attend university and study International Business. Below is in excerpt from an interview with Kouamé.
Why did you decide to come to the US and choose Moorpark College?
I decided to pursue my studies in the US for several reasons. The first one being that I wanted to study in an English speaking country. I graduated from high school with an excellent GPA in English, and so everybody told me to become an English major since I was already comfortable with the subject and was doing pretty well in it. But for me, that was too easy. I didn’t see the purpose of my studying English in a francophone country, and I also didn’t find it challenging in any way. So I decided to study what I had always wanted to do – Business Management – and instead of studying it in the Ivory Coast, I would go to an Anglophone country. I was thrilled by the unique opportunity I would have in the US, to meet people from all over the world, learn about their different cultures, and build a strong network.
Are you involved in activities or clubs at MC?
Yes, I am! As soon as I set foot on the MC campus, in the spring 2014, I started to look for opportunities to get involved. My first involvement was with the Multicultural Day Committee that year. Afterwards, I secured a job as a Student Ambassador for the Outreach Office, then in the Admissions and Records Office, and finally at the Print Shop – which is where I currently work. In addition to working on campus, I am the current president of the International Students Organization and I recently joined the Business Students Association.
Have you ever taken advantage of any of the student services offered here?
I surely have! From the Student Health Center to the Counseling Office to the Scholarship Office etc., I try to make the best out of the resources that are available to me. I also take advantage of the Library and Learning Resources (LLR). I use the LLR as much as I can: I study in the Library – in the quiet study rooms – and find lots of books to read, I use the vast resources available for my research papers in my different classes, and I also hangout and relax, at the end of the day, on the comfortable couches in the back of both the second and the third floor.
Is there anyone special at MC you’d like to tell us about?
There are so many special people here at Moorpark College that I think it’d be unfair of me to just tell you about one. Instead, I would like to say thank you to all the faculty and staff and fellow students that contribute to making Moorpark College memorable for me and many other students.
Do you have any advice for incoming students?
To international students, I would recommend to really be organized and proactive. I know community college is usually where most students get to explore different subjects and find what they are passionate about, but as international students, that’s a luxury we can’t afford – given the exorbitant tuition for international students and the very complex immigration process we have to go through. So I recommend doing lots of research about your intended major, and have a goal – it’s the best way to get started. Then I urge you to remain open minded about other opportunities, too. Life is a continuous learning process, so I strongly believe students shouldn’t rest on their laurels and refuse to explore new opportunities that come their way just because they [students] think that they’ve already found their "way." Finally, don’t be shy or afraid to ask. Transitioning into a new environment can be very challenging and intimidating, but just keep in mind that if you’ve made it this far, there is no obstacle that you wouldn’t be able to overcome.
To all students, I want to insist on the importance to grasp the many opportunities that are available to you at MC. By that I mean, do not just show up to class, study in the library, and go home. Be more than just a "passerby." There are over 45 students organizations on campus, join one! If you can’t find any that interests you, be bold enough and start your own! Force yourselves to go out of your comfort zone and achieve things that you’re afraid to do. Make the best out of Moorpark College!