Imagine trying to score an interview ith a football player right before the playoff for the national
championship. And the team is the
It happened, and here's the story.
We are at The University of Alabama’s
Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility, where
players dart from one obligation to
the next. Coaches and trainers stride
with appropriate intensity as the team
prepares for the 2015 Sugar Bowl. ESPN
cameras are once again on campus to
capture the program and its excellence.
In the midst of it all, Executive Magazine
has shown up with congratulations and
questions for offensive lineman Arie
Kouandjio, Capital One Academic All-American, who has just been awarded
a master's in economics from the
Culverhouse College of Commerce. He
earned his bachelor's in finance last
year. We have an appointment, but we are
one of many for the day as people scurry
and scramble through one door and out
We are allowed 10 minutes with the
player from Hyattsville, Maryland. Ten
minutes to ask quick questions and
collect good answers. He is game and so
were we. Here is how it unfolds:
You came to this country at an early age?
Yes, I was born in Cameroon [in West
Central Africa]. I was 6 years old when
we left and I haven’t been there since. My
parents are still in the D.C. area and they
go back often.
But you’ve decided you want to
return there to help, armed with your
Right now I’m not sure how it will
work but, yes. I’ve been looking around
and am really open to opportunities. I’m
getting together with people to figure out
a way I can go back to help in Cameroon
or other struggling, developing countries
around the world.
Did this desire influence your
choosing finance and economics in the
I chose finance because I’ve always
been interested in the stock market and
things like that. I thought it was a broad
major that could help me learn things to
move forward in life. I chose economics
because of my developing interest in
helping out the struggling countries, and
I wanted to learn more about the subject.
What were the classes you most looked
forward to attending?
Probably the SAS (statistical analysis
software) courses with Dr. Denise
McManus and Dr. Junsoo Lee. As soon
as I started understanding the software,
I got really excited about going to class.
I also enjoyed Economics 521 (Statistical
Data Management SAS I), 522 (Advanced
Statistical Data Management SAS II),
531 (International Finance) and 532
(Advanced Data Mining II).
And the faculty who influenced you?
I will remember so many of them:
Dr. McManus, Dr. Lee, Dr. Cali Davis,
Dr. Daniel Henderson, Dr. James Peery
Cover. All the teachers I had were
exceptional people, and they helped me
learn a lot. It’s pretty difficult and tough
Did you use Coach Saban’s process in
your business classes?
Football taught me how to focus on my
goals and do what I needed to do rather
than focusing on what would happen if
I messed up. It gave me dedication and
discipline and how to persevere when
sometimes it seemed [classes] weren’t
going to work out.
FORMER CRIMSON TIDE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
NOW READY TO TACKLE HIS FUTURE.
BY CAROLANNE ROBERTS
ARIE KOUANDJIO COMPLETES
TWO BUSINESS DEGREES