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Kofi Gwira ’03

Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat), scheduled to be stationed in São Paulo, Brazil, U.S. Department of State
Majors: Management & Leadership, International Business

They encouraged me to think big and believe that anything was possible as long as I set my mind to it.

The Proof Is In Our People

Why Kofi Chose Rider

"I decided to go to Rider because I had attended a small boarding school with only 160 students in grades 7 to12. I didn’t want to go to a large school where I would have been just a number. Rider provided the personal attention that I was looking for in a school, while not being so small that I felt like I was in high school all over again,” Kofi said. “As a matter of fact, the majority of my professors knew me on a first-name basis and I was able to get the personalized attention that a bigger school could not offer."

Rider's Impact on Kofi's Career

Some of the classes I completed at Rider were very instrumental in helping shape my worldview. I still recall great courses I took with Dr. Roberta Fiske-Rusciano, Dr. Kelly Noonan and the late Dr. David Rebovich.

The support and encouragement Kofi received from Queen Jones and Dana Lopes in Student Support Services provided him with added motivation.  “They encouraged me to think big and believe that anything was possible as long as I set my mind to it,” Kofi added. “With their encouragement, I applied for the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, which provided me with a full tuition-and-board scholarship for my undergraduate degree.”

Continued Success

I’ve been interested in international affairs since I was old enough to remember. After graduating college and working in finance for JPMorgan Chase for a few years, I applied for a competitive fellowship sponsored by the State Department,” Kofi said. “This was five years after I had graduated from Rider and yet, when I reached out to ask for assistance with interviewing techniques, Career Services set up several mock interviews to aid me in my preparation! I am convinced these mock interviews gave me the confidence to land the position, which launched my career in the Foreign Service.” Kofi also enrolled at American University, where he earned a master’s degree in International Relations in 2010.

Giving Back

No matter how busy he was at Rider, Kofi always found time to be a formal mentor to younger individuals. In addition, since leaving Rider he has volunteered with the Big Brother/Little Brother program, Meals on Wheels and the Urban League Young Professionals Program.

  • Campus Involvement
    While at Rider, Kofi was active with the Midnight Run program (feeding New York's homeless) and served as a Rider Student Ambassador.

  • Paris Bound
    During the fall semesters of his junior and senior years Kofi attended the American Business School Paris.

  • 4 Kofi completed four prestigious internships while at Rider with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Verizon, Lockheed Martin and Johnson & Johnson.

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Five years after I had graduated from Rider … I reached out to ask for assistance with interviewing techniques, Career Services set up several mock interviews to aid me in my preparation!

Kofi Gwira ’03
Management & Leadership, International Business