Roman Magar—Professional Accountant, Auditor, and Financial Reporting Manager

Roman Magar—Professional Accountant, Auditor, and Financial Reporting Manager

September 13, 2021 • ISSUE 589

Roman Magar

Professional Accountant, Auditor, and Financial Reporting Manager

MIU alumnus Roman Magar studied business at Tribhuvan University of Nepal. Early on in his studies he set his sights on becoming a chartered accountant (the equivalent of a CPA in the US) and joining the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a global organization of accountants.

To achieve his goal, he studied three years in the UK. He began his career as an auditor at a chartered accounting firm in Nepal in 2009 and in three years he worked with over 50 companies, gaining significant experience in auditing, accounting, and financial reporting.

He heard about MIU from a close friend and in 2012 joined the MBA in Accounting Program. He enjoyed learning new and interesting things in a stress-free environment and making friends from all over the world.

With MIU friends (from left to right Roman Magar, Amir Shrestha, Chhewang Lama, Nand Joshi, and Arun Thapa)

“It was the best period of my life,” he said. “There was no pressure and you didn’t have to worry about working to survive; all you had to do was focus on your studies. Practicing the TM technique before and after class also helped a lot with focusing my energy on my projects.”

Due to his extensive professional experience, Roman graduated within a year without having to complete a two-year internship. He immediately found a position with Fairfield’s Cambridge Investment Research, where he worked in corporate risk management and financial reporting for four years. During his time at Cambridge, he also obtained several securities licenses.

With colleagues at Cambridge Investment Research

In 2017 he decided to relocate to the East Coast and found a job at the Community Bank of the Chesapeake in Waldorf, Maryland. He has been promoted twice and now is assistant vice president and financial reporting manager of accounting.

Roman fondly remembers his time at MIU and Fairfield, and he appreciates the help international students received not only with their academic pursuits but also with the start of their US professional careers in the form of networking, job search, and resume writing skills.

With his wife Dr. Asha Rai and daughter Ariana Magar

Mathias Abdissa — Merging Traditional Finance with Cryptocurrency

Mathias Abdissa — Merging Traditional Finance with Cryptocurrency

September 8, 2021 • ISSUE 588

Mathias Abdissa

Merging Traditional Finance with Cryptocurrency

MIU alumnus Mathias Abdissa is the creator of a new online financial platform called Santym, which allows people in Africa to open an FDIC-insured US bank account and participate in the global economy they previously couldn’t access.

Mathias came to MIU in 2011 from Ethiopia to study in the MS in Computer Science Program. After graduating, he worked as a software engineer for various companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Over the years, he has helped his friends in Africa pay their bills online. Many of them don’t have access to traditional financial services, such as bank wires and debit cards, and can’t even purchase digital services like Netflix. Nine months ago he decided to solve the problem by creating a startup company.

Mathias has also incorporated cryptocurrencies in his services, which add more flexibility for users to withdraw money where there is no traditional currency exchange.

At his MIU graduation ceremony with commencement speaker Jim Carrey

When he first heard about cryptocurrencies, he was skeptical. But in 2016 he began studying them, along with blockchain technologies, and became a believer. He has also worked in the field of cryptocurrencies for the last four years.

Mathias considers cryptocurrency not only an investment vehicle, but a new system of finance that connects consumers directly with producers, artists, and service providers.

He has built a community of 700 Ethiopian crypto enthusiasts and has been a passionate advocate of blockchain technologies. “I like the transparency and the community aspect of cryptocurrencies,” he said. “I see a change from institution-based finance to community-based finance and it will open up opportunities for a lot of younger people.”

Mathias has been working on his project full-time and uses the Transcendental Meditation® technique to stay balanced. “Practicing TM helps me calm down,” he said. “When you work 80-100 hours a week, you need a break from the endlessly overactive mind.”

Mathias is now working on his marketing strategy and will be launching Santym within the next 30 days.

Emily Newman—Experiencing Consciousness-Based℠ Education Online

Emily Newman—Experiencing Consciousness-Based℠ Education Online

August 29, 2021 • ISSUE 587

Emily Newman

Experiencing Consciousness-Based℠ Education Online

Emily Newman first enrolled in higher education in 2005 at the University of Hawaii. However, the school’s requirement to select a major didn’t accommodate the diversity of her interests, ranging from sustainability and horticulture to psychology and creative writing, so she left in 2008.

During the next ten years Emily worked in a variety of fields, including farming, coaching gymnastics, and event production. For the past six years she has worked as a stagehand for musical, corporate, and theatrical events in San Francisco and in her home town of Irvine, California. She has also traveled in South and Central America.

 

Working backstage at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, California

Emily had known about MIU from friends who grew up in Fairfield. She even visited Fairfield in 2012 and learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique in 2018. When she decided to finish her undergraduate degree, she came across MIU’s online Applied Arts and Sciences Program. She was excited about the focus on self-exploration and the variety of classes offered through the interdisciplinary program, so she enrolled in January 2019.

Emily found her experience of online education surprisingly satisfying. “I have never experienced so much enthusiasm and support from my teachers during class,” she said. She enjoyed getting to know her classmates from all over the world through live discussions and chat forums.

Visiting the Agua Azul Waterfalls in Chiapas, Mexico

She also appreciated the teachers’ support for her TM® practice in the form of group meditations and meditation checkups. “I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I did without learning TM,” said Emily. “My stress and anxiety didn’t distract me, and it was easy to stay focused and level-headed.”

Emily also became interested in Maharishi AyurVeda®, and the knowledge she gained in her classes helped her create a daily routine that supported her studies. She graduated in December 2020 and is now considering a master’s in Maharishi AyurVeda and Integrative Medicine.

Jordan Curcio—Studying While Traveling

Jordan Curcio—Studying While Traveling

August 23, 2021 • ISSUE 586

Jordan Curcio

Studying While Traveling

 Jordan in Sedona, Arizona

Jordan Curcio was studying biology at Binghamton University, New York, when a series of curious experiences led him to begin researching consciousness. He saw an online ad for MIU and Consciousness-Based℠ education and he knew he had found what he was looking for.

He learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique in his home state of New York, and in February 2021 he joined the online Applied Arts and Sciences Program. Jordan has a passion for traveling and appreciates the flexibility of online education.

Hiking on the island of Maui, Hawaii

“I couldn’t imagine being able to study consciousness and that I could study it while traveling,” he said. He also enjoys learning the principles of the Science of Creative Intelligence℠ and discovering its applications in his daily life and travels.

Jordan’s enthusiasm for travel comes from a love of hiking and nature as well as a keen interest in understanding other cultures. He recently traveled to Yucatan, Mexico, where he visited Mayan ruins and met Mayan people—an experience he called life-changing.

Meeting the indigenous people of a Mayan village of Yucatan

When he took a class in cinematography and video editing, he decided to pursue it as his specialization. He aspires to merge the skills he learns with his love of traveling to make films about other cultures. He feels that being exposed to the customs and traditions of different societies can help people overcome their prejudices. By offering new perspectives, he wants to highlight the interconnectedness of humanity. “Regardless of what path I take, my purpose is to help others and the planet,” he said.

Even though he is not on campus, Jordan has been able to consistently practice the TM® technique twice a day, which has helped him effortlessly drop some bad habits. “I feel a lot clearer, and TM gives me the opportunity to feel centered in times of difficulty.”

Bipin Regmi—Accounting Professional Studies Software Development and Finds Happiness

Bipin Regmi—Accounting Professional Studies Software Development and Finds Happiness

August 16, 2021 • ISSUE 585

Bipin Regmi

Accounting Professional Studies Software Development and Finds Happiness

Bipin Regmi grew up in Nepal and studied finance and accounting in India. After working as an accountant and college professor for several years, he wanted to learn a new skill and began exploring software development. He started teaching himself coding, using freeCodeCamp.org.

In 2019 Bipin met family members of a graduate of MIU’s Master’s in Software Development Program. By this time he had decided to get a degree in software development, and this program didn’t require a background in computer science. He was also intrigued by the Transcendental Meditation® technique.

With his parents and brother in Nepal

Bipin suffered from depression and, for years, had looked for happiness. Although he attended meditation retreats, he didn’t stick with any of the programs. When he came to MIU, he was excited to learn the TM® technique.

“My soul was always searching for something,” he said. “I wanted to practice meditation as part of my routine and I knew it was good for me. But I had never thought it could make such a huge difference. I enjoyed every moment of being here, even though my courses were challenging.”

With Assistant Professor Obinna Kalu (second from left) and classmates on campus

Bipin also likes journaling, writing poetry, and taking photos and videos. Several years ago he began exploring his creativity as an escape from his depression, and now he uses it to uplift and inspire people. He has been sharing his nature photography on the MIU app and documenting his personal journey on YouTube.

“I had really bad experiences in the past, and I feel an obligation to help others with similar afflictions. At MIU I realized that all happiness comes from inside,” he said.

Bipin is now finishing his last course and will be moving to California to find a job. His long-term career goal is to integrate his accounting and software development skills.

Bipin’s photo of the Argiro Center and Vedic observatory

Leo Alexander III— Connecting the African American Diaspora with Africa through Business

Leo Alexander III— Connecting the African American Diaspora with Africa through Business

August 9, 2021 • ISSUE 584

Leo Alexander III
Connecting the African American Diaspora with Africa through Business

Leo Alexander III just graduated from MIU, earning a BA in applied arts and sciences with a specialization in business. For his senior project, he managed the construction of a greenhouse in Kenya, the installation of an irrigation system, and the transplantation of 1,000 strawberry plants. He has also implemented agroecological farming practices, such as water conservation, composting, and intercropping, while staying true to local agricultural techniques.

Although he was able to complete this project in a few months while being in Fairfield, the idea for the business goes back to his teenage years in Houston, Texas. When Leo was learning about African American history and the untapped economic opportunities on the African continent, especially in agriculture, he decided to somehow connect the African American community with Africa through business and investments.

The construction of the greenhouse in Kenya

While attending a community college in Colorado, he heard about MIU and the Concept to Market Institute and applied. Leo arrived in January 2019, spent three months at the MIU Student Farm in the summer, and in September headed to Africa for a four-month internship. He visited small farms in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya and talked to over 1,000 people about running a farm business and sustainable farming practices.

Leo feels that connecting to deeper states of consciousness with the Transcendental Meditation® technique played a large part in his ability to manifest his desire. “I couldn’t have done it without meditation and visualization,” he said. “TM helped me stay centered and focused on my goals.”

Finished greenhouse with drip irrigation

Leo used the connections he made in Kenya to come up with his business plan and help him with on-site management. To finance the project, he used the funds from his stock trading activities. His ultimate goal is to make the project profitable, scale up the operation, and use the profits to help others in the Black community take advantage of similar economic opportunities in Africa.

“This idea presents a new win-win opportunity for African Americans to lift their economic boat while simultaneously lifting the economic boat of Africa,” he said.

Water tank for irrigating the greenhouse