The summer after Ugoeze Achilike earned her Associate in Science degree (Class of 2015) in Social Sciences at Essex County College, she spent eight weeks in Amman, Jordan through a U.S. Department of State program. She then headed off that fall to American University in Washington, DC, where she majored in International Relations.
The former Bloomfield resident has certainly not slowed down as she now works as a marketing associate in the World Bank’s Visitors Center, a couple of blocks from the White House.
“Working at the World Bank is certainly a wonderful opportunity for me,” Ugoeze said in a recent telephone interview. “At the Center we are able to put a public face on the World Bank so people can learn more about the wonderful things we do here.”
The World Bank’s mission includes working toward ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity with the nearly 200 countries the organization represents.
That fits right into Ugoeze’s (who is originally from Nigeria) way of thinking. “I want to be involved in assisting government in creating environmental policies that help better the lives of people everywhere.”
To that end, Ugoeze has plans to continue her education. “I’m exploring my options right now as I gain more work experience.” She added that she is considering a Master’s degree in economics or a related field. She would also like to apply her graduate studies to environmental science.
For now, Ugoeze frequently looks back fondly on her time spent at Essex. “I found Essex to have a very enjoyable atmosphere. I was able to set myself up for academic success.” She graduated from Essex with Honors and a 3.59 grade point average.
Ugo also was an officer in the College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a student in the highly competitive Honors Program. She credited the Honors Program with also helping her to prepare for American University.
Her Jordan trip was through the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship program. It is administered through the Departments’ Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.