June 1, 1998 - Emory Magazine: David London served in Kenya

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By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 1:48 am: Edit Post

David London served in Kenya

David London served in Kenya


A change of plans

David R. London's decision to join the Peace Corps surprised him, because he had always been driven to pursue a traditional business career. After raising money as an intern for the Royal National Theater in England last summer, however, he changed his plans.

"I started to realize that what made me happy was not necessarily making money for myself, but for a cause," says London '98B.

Even a serious offer from a consulting firm while he was waiting to be accepted by the Peace Corps did not deter him. Two weeks after graduating from the Goizueta Business School with a B.B.A. degree in May, London traveled to Kenya to learn Swahili, Kenyan cultural norms, and rudimentary Kenyan business practices before serving in the Peace Corps' business advising program in that nation.

London says that for him the turning point came after his theater internship ended, when he backpacked through fifteen European countries, constantly yearning to learn more about the native people and their culture.

"I always felt like I was leaving without seeing anything," he says, "I started thinking, 'How can I see the world and make it a better place?' "

When he returned to Emory in the fall of 1997, he applied to the Peace Corps while simultaneously interviewing with consulting firms. He also worked as a manager for Emory's Annual Fund for a second year and was the student director of career services on the B.B.A. Council, acting as a liaison between business school students and the Emory career center.

London's leadership and professional experience impressed his Peace Corps recruiter, Frank Tizedes. "David was a unique case," says Tizedes, who adds that London is "motivated, self-directed, and able to work independently with little supervision."

While London says he expects his business experience in Kenya to enhance his career opportunities, he also hopes his time with the Peace Corps will be similar to that of his cousin, for whom setting up a loan program in South American villages was "the most rewarding experience" of his life.--E.C.

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