It’s the Peace Corps and Africa for Recent Graduate

Like many of his former classmates, recent Montclair State University graduate Besmir “Chris” Ruli is preparing to begin his first full-time job since receiving his diploma. Unlike many of his former classmates however, his job will be located in the western African nation of Senegal. After a year-long application, interview, and nomination process, Ruli has been accepted into the Small Enterprise Development (SED) program of the Peace Corps’ Senegal Business program.

As a member of the SED team, Ruli will join five to ten other Peace Corps volunteers in Senegal, and after three months of training, spend the next two years helping to advise and oversee small business entrepreneurs there. After such a long wait to be accepted into the program, he is justifiably looking forward to his departure on August 10.

“I am very excited to be working in Senegal and to be meeting the other Peace Corps volunteers,” says Ruli. “I look forward to creating memorable moments and lasting bonds between the other volunteers, my host family, and the other individuals I meet along the way.”

With a degree in business administration, a minor in political science, and the experience of having served as the Attorney General of the Student Government Association (SGA), Ruli is well-prepared for his new assignment. It also meshes well with his personal goals and interests.

“Many doors have been opened for me in my life and I felt like this was an opportunity to finally give back for all I had received,” he says. “I wanted to find something that would combine my interest in business with my interest in diplomacy and international relations. I also wanted to travel after college and to experience something new. The Peace Corps fit all my interests.”

Having known and worked with Ruli through his involvement with the SGA, Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life Karen L. Pennington thinks he made a good choice. “He is a very bright and caring individual—somebody who always wants to make sure that fairness is involved in every decision,” she notes. “I really admire him for taking this step with the Peace Corps and wish him all the best in this exciting new endeavor.”

An independent U.S. government agency, the Peace Corps was established in 1961 to promote world peace and friendship while meeting the needs of countries that request assistance. Since then, nearly 200,000 American Peace Corps volunteers have served in more than 130 countries around the world.