“It was a great experience,” says Bly, who was born in the Ivory Coast. “I got to see a different perspective of the world and mingle with people I would’ve never mingled with before.”
Bly became interested in learning Chinese after hearing it spoken at home. At Binghamton, Bly said he spent two hours a day, every day, learning how to speak the language and would go on to minor in Chinese.
His efforts impressed Hong Zhang, senior lecturer of Chinese in the Asian and Asian American Studies Department.
“It is rewarding to see a student become confident in learning Chinese and set a high goal for achievements,” Zhang says.
Bly says the growing number of collaborations between China and places such as Binghamton University are good learning experiences for both sides.
“You think China is a great global place, but when you get there you realize that they don’t know much about the external world,” he says. “They’ve been closed off for such a long time. It’s new for them to meet foreigners. We need to open our arms to them.”
An internship in the summer of 2009 at Pricewaterhouse Coopers solidified Bly’s desire to become a certified public accountant. In Manhattan, he helped audit a hedge fund and took part in community service projects such as the NYC Food Bank.
“It opened my eyes and made me realize that you never know where you might go,” he says.
Summers in Shanghai and Manhattan do not mean Bly hasn’t made a difference in Binghamton, though. He worked with local boys ages 4-16 as part of the Black Student Union Youth Program; helped build a home in Binghamton with Habitat for Humanity; served as a Discovery adviser; and also was the education coordinator of the African Student Organization.
Bly says he has gotten the “full college experience” at Binghamton, and he's now working full time at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New Jersey.
“I’ve been trying to help my family and reach my goals,” says Bly, the first member of his family to go to college. “I came to Binghamton thinking, ‘I won’t have another chance to learn this much and do this much.’ I have to grab all of the opportunities given to me. And I think that’s what I did.”
Last Updated: 8/6/12