#ElliottProud: Dimitri Bien-Aimé

Dimitri Bien-Aime, Master of Arts in International Affairs and Master of Business Administration, 2022, #ElliottProud
Dimitri Bien-Aimé is a graduate of the class of 2022 at the George Washington University School of Business and the Elliott School of International Affairs where he obtained a joint Master of Business Administration (MBA) and M.A. in International Affairs (MAIA). The concentration for his M.A. in International Affairs is international development and he also obtained a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Management. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. Over the years, he has received several awards and recognitions and has become a member of several honor societies. He has a professional background in business and international development, foreign investment, and relationship management. Through his prior roles, he has developed strong negotiation, communication, problem solving, and detail-oriented skills. He also has experience living and studying abroad, including China, where he conducted extensive research and analysis on the impact of foreign investments in the country. He has already crossed different continents in his quest to know other peoples and their cultures. He is interested in continuing to build on his cross-cultural communication skills and his knowledge about the international world system such as economics, politics, business, and human development. He is very passionate about all that matters to the great humanity. He likes soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, music, reading, and mostly he enjoys traveling.

What path led you to apply to graduate school? Why did you choose the Elliott School?
 
Since my earliest childhood, I have witnessed and observed what the issues facing my community were; then I forged my conviction to be one of many participating positively in the change I wanted to see. I also realized that the issues are not typically related to my community but somehow common to all societies. Overall, this has been my leitmotiv and led me to apply to graduate school, particularly to join GW as one of the most prestigious centers of knowledge
 
I was interested in the Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) joint degree program because it would broaden my horizon on the different aspects of international systems such as economics, human development, and so on. I believe that my degrees from GW will allow me to accelerate my professional transition from employment to entrepreneurship in the long-run.
 
I attended GW because I believe in this brilliant future and in a better world in which I may be useful to all. I also thought by studying those subjects, opportunities will open for me to serve myself and my family, my community, and possibly affect the entire world. GW symbolizes all values that I believe would make me the successful person that I have always aspired to be.
 
What was the most challenging academic experience at the Elliott School and how did you overcome it?
 
During my academic experience, I think that 2021 was the most challenging one. It was a year that marked me with the deaths of three very important people, in particular my father and my maternal grandparents. I had to request special accommodations from my professors to complete my homework and all finals for the spring semester. It has not been easy for me; however, it was imperative for me to arm myself with courage to continue my academic journey in order to honor my angels.
 
These people aforementioned meant a lot to me and will continue to impact my life and my way of becoming. Even though I am not a medical doctor like my father, or I am not intended to become a professor like my maternal grandfather, I believe they are watching over me. As my father always said, “Knowledge is something given to us to serve others with the greatest heart, regardless of his or her origin.” That is why I commemorated him by presenting my capstone project (memoirs) on April 22, 2022, just as a way to embrace his legacy.
 
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Over the next five years, I see myself enriched with experience in the field of economic and business development, finance, and foreign policy. I also see myself in 5 years becoming a global entrepreneur and a powerful and successful leader who can move things in the right direction to impact the lives of many people.

Now that you’re a alumnus, what do you wish you knew when you were applying for graduate school?
 
I wish I could have connected with the professors early. While doing my program, I had established excellent relationships with most of the professors. Each of them advised and/or guided me to something bigger than just attending their classes. This kind of support I received from my professors really helped me develop my career and understand the purpose of having a dual master’s degree. Even though I knew why I attended graduate school; the role played by professors in helping to understand a certain dynamism is beyond words. This is why I would have liked to have been able to meet professors during the application process for graduate studies.
 
On other sides, I wish I knew how to maintain a supportive community outside of grad school. Before starting my graduate studies, in particular for the Master’s degree in International Affairs (MAIA), I would have liked to be able to do an internship in the field for at least two weeks. For international affairs/development, it’s more about practice than theory. The more practice someone has in the field, the better they will understand and apply the theories. This field of study focuses on human development. Therefore, the best way to be effective in the field with a degree is to listen and understand professionals and the industry and know what are the stakes.
 
What was your most valuable experience while studying at the Elliott School?
 
The most valuable experience of my studies at the Elliott School was the opportunity to meet and become friends with people from all over the world. Attending the Elliott School is like traveling from country to country without leaving Washington, D.C. This enabled me to understand the essential parts of cross-cultural communication, such as cultural sensitivity, nonverbal gestures, and the sociological approaches to human development and entrepreneurial initiatives.
 
If you could bring any food from abroad to D.C., what would you bring?
 
If I could bring any food from abroad to D.C, it would be pumpkin soup, commonly known as “joumou soup”. It is a dish originating from Haiti served mostly for New Year and Independence Day celebrations. Pumpkin soup not only symbolizes independence for Haitians but strength, unity, and dignity for all people of color everywhere. This soup, which represents the power of the Haitian people after years of fighting against the French army to win their independence in 1804, was recently recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage. In the DMV area, if you’re interested in savoring this Haitian dish, head to Port-au-Prince restaurant on Sundays.

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The #ElliottProud profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights current students to answer common questions posed by prospective, incoming, and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at esiagrad@gwu.edu.

The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs.