I feel tremendous pride and confidence in completing my studies at the Academy. However, most of all, and like so many other alumni, the greatest excitement for me and my wife Despo, has been to witness our children graduate from the Academy – a dream come true!
Firstly, I have friends for life from the Academy who have constantly supported my personal and professional journey. Furthermore, the high academic standards of the AAL demanded discipline and excellence that would become the foundation of further study, but also application to future roles.
The School’s strong brand also helps open a lot of doors for people due to its strong reputation. The curriculum had tremendous breadth and provided great opportunities to develop presentation, leadership and even governance skills. In fact, the opportunities for development continued after graduation. I recall I was one of the youngest board members of the AAL Foundation ever, in the 1990’s, and that was such a great first trip in governance.
It was beautiful when we attended a school event at the Academy theatre some years ago, that was full of alumni, with schoolmates that were now either parents or teachers… a great reminder that the spirit of the American Academy family remains strong and serves all our new generations for their personal and professional growth.
I am currently living in Australia and have been the CEO of Bank of Sydney for the last 5 years. As I write this, I’m on-board an early morning flight returning to Sydney from Melbourne where I have been visiting our local branches and connecting with some of our great people and customers.
Joining the Academy in 1978 really broadened my perceptions of the world! Initially it was very challenging due to my weak English. However my generation was fortunate to be led by so many teachers from all corners of the world, many of whom are still part of my life today. Furthermore, my graduating class of 1985 are still to this day, like siblings as we continue to support each other wherever we may be. Most importantly though, I met my wife Despo at school in 1984, a departing gift for life from the American Academy.
A lot! Difficult to pick a few! But most importantly, the values of respect, honesty and humility – all very common traits amongst Academy graduates. The Academy showed me that these values deliver sustainable personal and business growth but also, strong friendships.
Our school was a great place to be in and part of especially in the 80’s. The diversity, the rhythm, the beat, the breaking through barriers which the Academy promoted, the harmony and the real friendships… it all made our journey at the AAL beautiful and extremely memorable. One of my fondest memories has to be our trip to Greece, which is still a point of reference at class reunions and viber chats.