Alumnus Chuka Asike Will Develop the MSFS Washington, D.C. Alumni Network
By Haysel Hernandez-Holschu (MSFS '13)
Chuka Asike (MSFS ’06) sat sipping his iced tea at the World Bank coffee shop. He looked comfortably at home among the flurry of economists but the path that has led him to the multilateral institution has been anything but straight. Born in Nigeria, his family emigrated to the United States when Asike was a young boy. Eventually settling in Maryland, Asike now considers himself somewhat of a D.C. native.
After graduating from Howard University with a degree in Biochemistry, Asike’s career took a completely unexpected turn. “I was approached by a friend who mentioned they were hiring for investment banking jobs up in New York. He thought it would be a great idea for me to interview. I figured if I did get the offer I’d be in New York for a summer and I’d be getting paid to do it,” he said. That summer turned into a two-year job at Goldman Sachs. “In the back of my head I kept thinking medical school was always going to be there. But during those two years in New York, I discovered a passion for international relations. I found myself wanting a career with an international focus that build on the skills I had acquired.”
Chuka Asike (MSFS '06) discusses his experiences in the academic and business worlds.
His search for an international focus led him to the Master of Science in Foreign Service students and a post-graduation job with the State Department. “I love the international aspect of my job. I’ve been lucky enough to end up in places where I like to be in,” he explained of his experiences as an Economic Officer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and later Dubai, UAE.
His current position as Adviser to the U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank has brought him back home. But not full circle. “Part of the reason I joined the State Department is the fact that you travel. I guess you could say I like new challenges and this job offers me that,” Asike said.
When asked if he believe a certain dose of luck has helped him end up doing what he loves, he leaned back and smiled. “I guess you could say that. Being at the right place at the right time sort of thing has definitely helped get me where I am.”
Although he quickly pointed out that he has forced himself to adapt to situations as well. “I pursued things that were fundamentally out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t necessarily the talented math guy that would excel on Wall Street or at the World Bank. Those were things I was interested in and enjoyed doing,” he explained.
Despite all his travels, Asike has always maintained close ties to his alma mater as a member of the Admissions Committee. Now he’s been called upon to help develop the Washington D.C. Alumni Network. “I was just approached by the MSFS staff to help coordinate this. I think it’s a great idea to integrate the alumni that are in town and keep them connected,” Asike said.
“I enjoyed my time at Georgetown. I had fun and developed great relationships,” he explained, pointing to the fact that he is still in contact with, not only with the Georgetown community but his former bosses from internships as well. “It’s always good to give back and help however I can.”