Monday, November 23, 2015

Intern Spotlight: Megan Wu

AIEF has been fortunate enough to have had hardworking dedicated interns work for us over the years. Our latest intern was no exception to this.  Megan Wu offered her time to AIEF starting this past summer. It wouldn’t be long before all of us at AIEF realized how much Megan would become an integral part of the team. That is why we want to share our appreciation for her efforts.

Aside from being an incredible intern for AIEF, Megan already has had much success outside of our office. Not only has Megan demonstrated her potential for future success through her amazing achievements academically, but she was recently voted Homecoming Queen at her high school. I guess we aren’t the only ones who think she is great.

Her ambition marries well with her ability to succeed. Megan hopes to take her studies to UCLA after she graduates high school next year. It is her plan to major in business due to the variety of career options that will be available to her (call it a hunch, but we think she will do just fine in business). To be a bit more specific she is interested in the marketing side of operations, but is eager to learn of all the possible opportunities business has to offer.

Being the social person she is, the type that attracts Homecoming Queen titles, she often spends her free time with friends and family exploring new things in the L.A. area or visiting siblings in college. She also has a knack for ice skating and indoor rock climbing.

So you may be wondering, what is it that she actually did at to help out AIEF. Megan was ready to help out the team every time she showed up, but most of her efforts were utilized for UScampus Guide. USCG is our magazine we publish bi-annually to help offer information and insight to students looking to come to the US. Our previous issue was the first to be a purely digital release. That meant not only were we sourcing the articles but we were going to have to design and edit the magazine as well. This is where Megan came in. Thanks to her amazing skill set she was the one to develop the design of the magazine and teach our colleagues how to do the same.

It’s safe to say Megan has been a huge help to AIEF. I can confidently say on behalf of everyone here that we thank her for all her efforts. We couldn’t have done it without you Megan!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fall 2015 Seoul Fair

I'd worked for AIEF before taking a year long maternity leave to be a stay at home mother. Now that I am back working for AIEF, I had the opportunity to travel for them for the first time. I remembered a lot of the school representatives I used to be in contact with and was excited to meet them face to face. This was my first time traveling to South Korea, and I couldn't have been more thrilled to explore a new city, culture, and meet new people.

View of Seoul from the Oakwood Hotel

Arriving in Seoul was surreal. What a beautiful city! How fortunate we were to have the opportunity to host Education Fairs here twice a year! AIEF stays at the Oakwood Premier Hotel each visit to Seoul, and upon check-in, I knew right away why we chose Oakwood each time. My boss introduced me to some of the staff she recognized, and we were taken care of with immense hospitality. A lot of our schools chose to stay at the Oakwood as well and we did happen to run into some of them at the hotel before the day of the fairs.

Saturday came quickly and I learned firsthand how the fairs are run each season. Since it was my first time, my boss and coworker, led me through everything from the fine details of booth furniture to making sure the presentation sessions ran smoothly.
I was the designated photographer for the American Education Fair, and it was a pleasure to capture the event for the foundation. Walking around the fair and documenting the day gave me opportunities to visit with each school representative and each booth, all the while ensuring they were all taken care of. Watching each exhibitor engage and recruit students reminded me of why I loved working for AIEF. To see the process firsthand of our fairs giving U.S. schools a platform to give international students opportunities to study in the U.S. really warmed my heart.

The first day of the fair was coming to an end and best part of the trip soon arrived. KTF (Korea Trade Fairs), our partners in Seoul, treated us and our school representatives out to dinner. This gave us an opportunity to get to know our school representatives on a more personal level. What an honor it was to network with people from all over the country.

Another personal favorite of mine during this trip, was the opportunity to meet our interpreters, local students we hired to come to the fairs and translate for us and our representatives. They were such a delight to work with and put so much effort into helping our event be a success.

All in all, I can say that this trip was a success, not just for me personally but for AIEF and all of our schools.

By Frances Wu

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Jam Packed July and the HOBY WLC

International Students and Fernando Rojas at CSUF
A couple weeks ago AIEF had the pleasure of hosting 70+ students from China and Taiwan for the first leg of the HOBY WLC. These students were specially selected to be HOBY delegates from their respective countries. The students had the opportunity to experience a little bit of US college life as they were housed for a week on the CSU, Fullerton campus.

The week was BUSY. From the moment they landed to taking off for Chicago the students were partaking in activates and listening to some wonderful guest speakers. Adrian Hightower seemed to be quite popular with the students. Dr. Hightower was a member of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the board of directors at Aid Africa.

Fernando Rojas was a big hit as well considering he is somewhat of a local celebrity now for making it into ALL 8 IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS! And of course we were honored to have our keynote speaker Michael Woo who was the first Asian American elected member of the Los Angles city council and current Dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University.

Students Shopping at Ontario Mills Outlet
Aside from all the talks and listening the kids had a change to have some fun. During the week they headed to a favorite of the California locals, Santa Monica where they soaked up some sun. AIEF even gave them a little time to do some shopping over at Ontario Mills mall, which may or may not have been a good idea considering some of them couldn’t resist the temptation and may have over indulged. Some of their suitcases may be a little heavier returning home.

All in all it was a very fun week, and the kids did quite well considering the jet lag that plagued them most of the week. Here at AIEF we can safely say HOBY WLC 2015 was a success!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer is Here, and AIEF is Gettin Busy

There is a lot going on around the office here in Pasadena, California. We thought we would just keep you informed with some of the things AIEF has planned for the coming months.

HOBY – AIEF will be hosting 70 student delegates from China and Taiwan for the HOBY Youth Leadership Congress this July. The students will be with AIEF from July 12-19. Lucky for them they will have the opportunity to see what its like to live on a US college campus for the week as they will be spending the week on Cal-State University, Fullerton. Throughout the week the students will engage in leadership building activities as well as guest lectures and speeches from a wide range of professionals. The keynote speaker will be Michael Woo, Dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. When the week is up they head to Chicago for the HOBY World Leadership Conference.

New Website – The AIEF marketing staff is currently building a brand new website for the foundation. This website will look to give a new and modern face to AIEF on the web. Needless to say it has been a much welcomed update by the AIEF staff.

AIEF fair in Taiwan! – This fall AIEF USA is headed back to Taipei, Taiwan for a two day education and recruitment fair on October 17th and 18th. Everyone here at AIEF is very excited to be back in Taiwan. For more information and to register visit here:

Stay tuned for more updates. In the meantime enjoy the summer!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Busy as a Bee

The 2015 spring education fairs in Korea may have only passed a month ago, but things are already getting busy at the AIEF office. The AIEF team is setting up for a busy summer and fall schedule with a number of events in the works.

AIEF will be hosting a number of elite high school students who were chosen to be HOBY delegates from Taiwan and China. These students will arrive to the LA area mid July where they will spend a week at California State University Fullerton. The HOBY delegates will receive training and education in leadership by AIEF staff and special guest speakers. After that week the students along with AIEF staff will head to Chicago for HOBY’s annual World Leadership Conference (HOBY WLC).

In August another group of Chinese students will arrive in Southern California. This group will get a two week trip that will take them from sunny Southern California up the coast to the Golden Gate and beautiful San Francisco. The idea is to immerse these Chinese students into the English language while keeping them engaged in fun and exciting activities.

Not only is AIEF going to be kept busy with visitors from China and Taiwan, but AIEF is in the process of ramping up its fair portfolio. AIEF is looking to re-enter the Taiwan market fairs along with Brazil and Vietnam! It is our aim to have one if not all of these fairs up and ready for the fall recruiting season.

The AIEF team should have their hands full for the next few months. Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The American Education Fair: My First Experience

       Seoul, South Korea. It was my task to engage with as many US institutions, invite them, and ultimately sign them up to participate at the AIEF Education Fair in Seoul. Much to my relief I and my coworker’s hard work paid off.

View from the hotel room
  It has been four months in the making. From the day I started work at AIEF I knew the work I had been given to carry out would ultimately lead me to the fairs.
            As I was boarding the plane I couldn't help but feel proud that my coworker and I managed to sign up 43 institutions, an increase of about 100% from the previous fair. It was my first time traveling to any Asian nation so as I exited the plane I could not help but feel the excitement overcome the weary tiredness left from jetlag. From there I headed to the Oakwood Premier hotel where I would be staying for the next week. I am one who loves nothing more than to travel so anything and everything I came across the next couple days was nothing short of amazing. However two short days passed, it was time for the fair to begin, and hard long hours to be had.
            I awoke the morning of the fair still accompanied by my companion for the trip, jetlag. But again the excitement broke through. Today was the day that months of work would finally come to fruition. A couple of hours before the AIEF fair I had the pleasure of meeting some of the school representatives while giving a brief orientation. After that concluded it was time to head to the COEX center where the AIEF education fair would be held. The fair was soon underway, and exhibitors began their weekend long task of recruiting students. Throughout the day I had the absolute delight of meeting all those with whom I made countless faceless interactions through email and telephone. It was beyond rewarding to meet the incredible people who decided to partake in the AIEF education fair.
Presentation at the fair
            The first day of the fair started off a little slow, but towards mid afternoon traffic began to pick up at the COEX and booths became busy with inquiring students. Seeing that was a big relief let me tell you. The first day eventually came to a close, and it couldn’t have come any sooner. To say I was tired would be a gross understatement. Luckily (note sarcasm*), I would have little time to rest and had a planned dinner with most of the school representatives, the KTF staff (the organization who put on the fair) and AIEF. Little did I know that would be one of the highlights of the trip. Around 50 of us made our way into a small Korean BBQ restaurant where we all took our seats and everyone began to mingle. It was a great feeling to have everyone together interacting and swapping stories. The dinner concluded with full stomachs and tired eyes and many retired to recoup for the next days work.     
         Korea? I apparently didn’t and so I concluded my night with some time on the town with friends and colleagues and used the next day to see the sights and sounds of Seoul. Six days was all it took, I love Seoul and Korea, and certainly cannot wait to return for round two in October for the AIEF Education Fair.
   The second day of the fair went over much like the first all though slightly smoother as everyone was settled in. The routine of a slower morning and a busier afternoon began to take hold. Toward the end of the day I could not help but feel proud of all the work we had put in. The school representatives seemed to be happy and so did we. At that point there wasn’t too much I could ask for that was in my control except for a good night sleep. But then again, who needs sleep when you are in Seoul.

Students Interpreters & AIEF team
 By Max Frederick

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Day at the Office

AIEF team
So you may have heard of us before or maybe you haven’t. The American International Education Foundation (AIEF) does a number of different things. To make things nice and simple AIEF helps facilitate the process of bringing international students to the education system. Sounds like an incredible duty, right? Yes it is, we know it is. AIEF would not be able to fill such an immense duty without the team behind the scenes or should I say family. From the day I had my interview to work here my boss made sure I understood that here at AIEF we are family. So who makes up AIEF’s kin, and what exactly do we do with our day at the office?

Let’s start with myself. My name is Max Frederick and I am a Marketing Specialist for AIEF. What exactly does a Specialist in Marketing do at the office? There are a few different tasks I cover. I am often on the phone chatting away. You can find my boss and I often having conversations or making jokes at the highest intellectual level (that was complete sarcasm). A lot of the time I will be checking Facebook. When I am not socializing on the computer, phone, or with colleagues I am usually eating, what some may call rabbit food. Don’t worry its not really rabbit food just the occasional carrot or kiwi. So my days may seem a little unproductive considering all the phone conversations with US universities, colleges, and high schools, marketing via social media, planning for education fairs, or even an occasionally filling the role as teacher to international students. Thought I was just screwing around the whole day didn't you?

AIEF Max Joaquin
Max (left ) & Joaquin (right)
I am not the only one having all the fun. My teammate and partner in crime is Cris Tsai. She is the Marketing Coordinator here at AIEF. If you are reading this right now you can thank her for making sure the magazine got into your hands. She is the head of the UScampus Guide magazine, and it wouldn't get published without her. She is a very efficient person. She gets the same amount of work I get done in half the time. However, I do catch her on the internet a lot. Come to think of it she is one the internet all the time. I guess I should thank her for that because she is actually doing extensive research for UScampus Guide as well as researching anything the AIEF team may need. Cris can do a little of everything whether its conversing with universities, utilizing social media, or compiling and editing a magazine. When it comes down to it she is an invaluable teammate.
AIEF Manager Sophia
Next up is Sophia Lou, our amazing Office Manager. Another name for her, a very fitting name, jack of all trades and a master of all! Sophia has been with the AIEF family for over a decade. She is the gears that keep this train running. I wouldn’t say she is quite the social butterfly as me and Cris because she always seems to be hiding in the back corner of the office. Well, to be fair she is actually in her very own well deserved corner office. She is often working on something with numbers, a lot of numbers. Sophia can also be spotted working on presentations for the boss, sorting through and balancing finances (more numbers), or working with the parents of students we care for. Then again she may be out of the office for a day working with the international students themselves.   Maybe now you get my point about the whole jack of all trades thing. Simply put AIEF would not be AIEF without her.
AIEF CEO Joaquin
AIEF Team Joaquin
The AIEF family is lead by a fearless duo, none other than the great Joaquin Lim (CEO) and Jessica Hsieh (CFO). Joaquin is a man of many talents, whether it’s producing a knee slapping joke or sweet talking the waitress into bringing another dessert and having the restaurant pause to have everyone sing happy birthday (Yes he did that…to me). If Cris and I are social butterflies he would be a social eagle. He is the man of the hour, and for good reason. Joaquin is driven and determined in all his endeavors. His seat in the office can be empty from time to time because he goes where duty asks him and works his magic. When he is in the office he is often at his desk sweet talking the business world and making deals happen, using his iPad (or at least trying to figure it out), or up and about encouraging the team and sharing his wisdom.

AIEF CFO Jessica
Jessica is our other intrepid leader. Let’s put it this way, if Sophia is the gears, Jessica is the engine…and gas…and steering wheel. Jessica is often found at her desk doing what bosses do. Quite frequently very important things, like figuring out who is dating Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son (this was an actual conversation the office had).  When she is not rummaging through the latest celebrity gossip she can be found working on some of the less important matters, such as executing any of AIEF’s financial matters or determining the future strategy of the organization. She and I actually have a special bond too. We really enjoy our rabbit food aka fruits and veggies, and often swap our knowledge of plant inspired sustenance. With all fun aside Jessica is an integral part to everything here at AIEF and provides an amazing foundation for all of our success.

I guess you can say we have a little fun here at the office. Everyone contributes to the team with our finer points. We have a good time here at AIEF, and work a little bit too just as any good family should.

By Max Frederick

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bio of the Month - Max

Photo taken at AIEF Feb/2015 by Cris T.

Max Frederick is the Marketing Specialist at AIEF. He is the main guy to look for if you are interested in the International Education Fairs not to mention taking on many of the other responsibilities of the marketing department.

Max is young, social, energetic, and knows how to get things done quickly and professionally. You can find him often on the phone talking with US universities, colleges and high schools.

Max is a California State University of Chico graduate, who received a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. Aside from his credentials, and more importantly, he is good looking and still bachelor (single girls, open opportunity!). Born in the United States, his family lineages trace back to Germany, Italy and Holland. (Aka, good genes).

Max loves to work out and stay healthy. He goes to the gym everyday after work and only shows up at office with healthy snacks (fruits and veggies), because of this his teammate Cris calls him "rabbit food dude".

His passion is to travel; he has already been to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Africa. He is looking forward to his next adventures. Soon he will be flying to Korea for the first time to the AIEF International Educational Fair. Max is rather excited and can’t wait to go. However, he has been forewarned of his duty to do AIEF proud in the karaoke arena (something he is not overly excited for). 

Always friendly and enthusiastic, you can usually find Max happy and smiling. AIEF is really blessed for having him as a team member and it would not be the same without him.