School of Business alumnus Michael Schiumo ’16 is currently traveling abroad to Kazakhstan, a place he is not unfamiliar with, thanks to his time at TCNJ. Instead of accepting the opportunity to work as a financial analyst after graduating, Schiumo bravely decided to travel to Astana, Kazakhstan to attend the International Exposition on Future Energy. “This was a decision that was definitely difficult for myself and my parents alike, but also one that I believe will lead me to great things in the future,” said Schiumo. “I, along with my 39 peers, am looking forward to a worldwide conversation about the future of our environment.”
After two rounds of interviews, one in English and one in Russian, Schiumo was accepted to attend the expo in early June and will return back to the US in September. Included below is an interview with Schiumo on how his experience at TCNJ inspired him to attend the energy conference.
- Did your time attending the School of Business serve as a catalyst for your interest in the field?
At the College of New Jersey, I pursued a dual coursework in Finance and Russian Studies. I was encouraged from the early days of my college career to figure out a method of uniting the two distinct course works; that opportunity came in my sophomore year. After a grueling application process, I was chosen as a Boren Scholar for Russian Language, and continued to spend a year abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan. As a quintessential Petro-state, Kazakhstan became the foundation on which my interest in Energy was based. After deciding that working in the financial services industry simply wasn’t fulfilling me, I am happy to say that I made the difficult yet worthwhile decision to return to the place that first gave me inspiration: Kazakhstan. My mentors at The College of New Jersey motivated me to look beyond myself, and I couldn’t be prouder to represent my Alma Mater abroad.
- How did you find out about Expo? What was your path of attendance?
My discovery of the International Exposition on Future Energy was purely by chance. In fact, I have to thank my fellow student of Russian Studies, Lia Lumauig, who sent me a message with the announcement. At that point, I had already accepted a full-time offer with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Thus, the decision to leave a well-paying, secure job was difficult, to say the least. Nevertheless, I feel that I have made the right decision. Now, the future is open for me, and I couldn’t be any more grateful for that.
- What are you looking forward to the most? What do you hope to take away from this experience?
I believe that this is truly a unique experience in every sense of the word. I, along with my 39 fellow Student Ambassadors, have been granted the opportunity to take part in a truly international event that has the propensity to shape not only my country’s view on climate change, but the entire world’s. Millions of guests will come to Astana, Kazakhstan in the coming months to learn about the steps that we, as citizens of the world, have taken towards progress. Therefore, the most important part of the Exposition will not be the amount of money that each country has invested in the project. It will not be about the country with the most impressive pavilion, or the most visitors. The critical part of the Exposition will be the thought that will cross the mind of each and every person who participates in it: climate change is a global threat, and we can only conquer it together. You can also read a blog post, First Impressions of the World’s Fair: What Expo Means to Me, authored by Schiumo reflecting his time at the expo so far, here.
If you have questions for Schiumo or the TCNJ School of Business please email, firstname.lastname@example.org.