College of Business Graduate Helping Improve the Lives of Refugees
A graduate of the Anderson University College of Business is playing an active role helping individuals and families in Africa enjoy a better quality of life free from persecution.
Maguy Diop works for the United Nations (UN) at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Dakar, Senegal.
Herself a native of Senegal, a coastal country in western Africa, Diop earned her undergraduate business degree in financial economics and international business in 2016 and her MBA in 2018 from the Anderson University College of Business.
She puts her business knowledge to work helping direct funds the agency provides while serving several countries in western and central Africa. The bureau in Senegal is responsible for a budget of more than $724 million for the region. The funds provide support for refugees entering a country or internally displaced persons, along with supplies needed to help improve their quality of life.
“What we do is oversee the budgets, expenditures, the implementation rates; we make sure they stick with the budget and make sure the budget is recorded correctly. We also provide support to the teams that are on site with fund increases or budget alignment or transfer reallocations. We monitor the overall budget of the regions,” Diop said.
Being part of a global humanitarian relief agency is a good fit for Diop, who as an Anderson University student was actively involved in its International Student Organization as its president, and also part of AIM, an interfaith ministry in Anderson.
Diop’s brother was a college student in South Carolina, and she chose to study at a college or university in the same state. She also wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father, who studied economics. She found the right combination of location and academic programs at AU.
“When I came to Anderson, I thought I spoke English until I got there. It felt really different because I came to the South and I wasn’t used to the expressions. I wouldn’t know what they were saying,” Diop said. Arriving before Welcome Week, Diop at first saw only resident assistants and student-athletes. Hanging out with her RA, she observed how they went from residence hall to residence hall, stopping to pray as they walked.
“It blew me away for a minute … it made me feel more that this is where I need to come,” Diop said, relieved to be part of a Christian university.
Ann-Margaret Themistocleous, director of the Anderson University Center for Global Engagement, said Diop devoted herself to the needs of other international students and was active in the community at AU.
“Maguy showed strong leadership skills when she served as president of the International Students Organization. She ran events like our annual international festival, senior international prom and other events to support the international community on campus,” Themistocleous said. “As a member of the international ministry, she helped new international students adjust to the Anderson campus, as well as American culture. She has an ability to connect with everyone. That dedication to caring and embracing other cultures and people is what makes her a true success.”
Diop said they organized events for international students that included movie nights, bowling and Thanksgiving dinner.
“We wanted to meet the international students and we wanted them to feel at home. We wanted them to feel that they had a community on campus and that they had people they could turn to,” Diop said.