Spring 2017 Alumni Updates

April 27, 2017

Boshra Afra (MIT experience 2014 - 2016)

My husband and I moved to Boston in February 2014 for his postdoc at the RLE and lived in Cambridge for the most part. My husband started his work immediately after we arrived, and I came to know about the MIT Spouses&Partners Connect group and started attending their events... and what a life changer this group is!! After only a couple of workshops, I had several friends, people just like me! Expat life was so much fun then, except for the job hunting part. But even that became a lot more sane with the Career Connect workshops and with a small group that we formed ourselves to meet regularly and support each other. Overall, one of the highlights of my life in Boston was being part of the MS&PC group and I can’t thank Jennifer and her team enough for always being there for us.

It's now around 9 months that we have moved to West Lafayette, IN, for my husband's job at Purdue University. Starting a new life here was different than every time we moved before. We came here with our 2.5 months old son, our stay would be long term (if not for good), and I was not too worried about finding a job here, as I had gained work experience in the US. So life is less stressful now and more family focused. I started working a couple of months ago at the same university and really enjoy my new role. I manage the research and educational activities of a new initiative at Purdue, called Purdue Systems Collaboratory. After several years of being “in-transit” as student and postdoc, we feel settled down. I have to admit though, that at times, I miss the “in-transit” life, especially the social part of it.

It amazes me that in just a couple of years in Boston, we built and maintained such strong relationships with people that I am sure will stay with us forever. I miss those people from Boston very much, our dear friends. We keep in touch, talk often and share our ups and downs as much as we can being far away. I just wish my son could grow up in such a vibrant community; too early to say, hopefully there is one here, too. 

Moving across countries and cities, I've learned that every place is a package, with some good things and some short comings. I keep reminding myself to look at the bright side and enjoy as much as I can, so that when it's time to move again there are no regrets. My friends are always in my heart; I proudly support the love of my life in doing what he is so good at; and I work hard to fulfil my own ambitions.

Meanwhile, I keep looking for a Tango class, the dance that we've first learned at the MIT Tango Affairs and oh boy, I miss those classes so much!

And finally, I have to say that all the cities have at least one thing in common: super long waiting lists for daycare!

Karlo Laforteza (MIT experience: 2002 - 2004)

I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since I first joined MIT Spouses & Partners Connect!

Thanks to Jennifer, MS&PC program manager, who was one of my references, I was accepted to the MIT Sloan Full-Time MBA program, that I completed in 2004-2006.

After my MBA, we moved to Zurich, Switzerland, which honestly was a big cultural shock. Funny enough, Spouses and Partners were there with me too! One day, while shopping in the mall, I noticed a familiar face but didn’t catch her at first. It turned out to be Bogi, who was a Spouses & Partners Connect member during my time at MIT. I also learned that another member, Isabelle, lived not too far from me. While at MIT, she taught me some French which was really useful during our stay in Switzerland. Having familiar faces and somebody to turn to on a foreign land made my transition in a new plac much easier.

We've moved a lot since then, but of all the places we've loved Boston the most - so we moved back to the area a few months ago! We live with our Bernese Mountain Dog named Eiger. I am active with showing dogs and working at my dream job in dog genetics.

Megumi Enokido, Mrs. Kimie Shirasaki, Mrs. Noda, Chizu and Harumi

Japanese wives group reunion in Tokyo Area