Emmanuelle, as she is called here, said she chose Menlo College because she feared if she stayed in the Ivory Coast she would get stuck and not move forward in her education.
It took her awhile to appreciate the small campus of Menlo College, she admits. "I didn't like it at first, but now I do, mainly because of the school's 'we are family' spirit," she said prior to her graduation on May 5. "I like that it's a small school because you can easily approach the faculty and staff members who are really about helping you succeed."
A member of the Delta Mu Delta international honor society, she was on the dean's list many times and was a member of the 2011-2012 Competitive Cheer Squad at the college.
Both of her parents hold doctorates. A younger sister, who graduated from Georgia State in December with a degree in finance, is pursuing a master's degree. Two younger brothers are in high school. "I miss my family, my culture, but I think it's worth it," she said about attending college in California.
Her post-graduation goals are to get two years of work experience, a CPA license, and eventually, a master's degree in information systems. She had a double undergraduate major in finance and accounting.
As part of her Menlo College requirements, she is serving as an intern in the Menlo Park office of Les R. Koonce, who runs a financial services company.
Menlo College, which specializes in business education, had a total enrollment this year of 596 students. Eighty of them were international students, including three from the Ivory Coast, according to Virginia Spinelli, the international student adviser.