Planning for SAUPO: Views from 2015 Student Volunteers


KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 7, 2015) — Kylie Torres, SAUPO Staff Writer, October 2, 2015

You guessed it! Planning for the Symposium on ASIA-USA Partnership Opportunities (SAUPO) 2016 is already underway! This premier one day global business conference requires a full year’s preparation and planning. No time is wasted between the annual conferences. So what’s it like planning, preparing, and volunteering for the largest Asian business conference in the Southeast United States? We asked a few student volunteers who helped to bring SAUPO 2015 to success!

Patricia Chourio is a graduate student in KSU’s MA in Integrated Global Communication program. In Spring 2015, she was the Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Gao, SAUPO Chair and Founder. Patricia had a heavy involvement in SAUPO’s planning and execution. She assisted Dr. Gao with anything that came up during the conference and was also responsible for the social media pages in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube before and after the event. Patricia says that the conference itself exceeded all her expectations. What she loved most about SAUPO was all of the networking and learning opportunities. She was particularly impressed with the fact that all of the speakers were willing to talk and share their experiences with students.

Ngozi Maduoma, a graduate student at KSU from Nigeria, volunteered as a time keeper for the conference and also assisted at the registration desk during the VIP networking session the night before. Ngozi loved volunteering for the conference, because it helped her learn how an academic conference actually works by being a first-hand observer. She made valuable contacts with professionals around the world at SAUPO. She was even offered an internship opportunity at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. by one of the speakers.

Alisa Mosby, a graduate student at KSU, was responsible for guiding the speakers to their appropriate conference rooms before their presentations. Alisa said that this volunteer opportunity was able to connect her with many influential people in the communications industry. She still keeps contact with many of them, and feels they will be able to help her in her future career endeavors after graduating from Kennesaw State University.

Aiden Poisal, an undergraduate International Business major at KSU, was a student volunteer leader at the conference. He feels SAUPO is a great way to gain valuable experiences and find Asian-business centered internships. His favorite part of the conference was being able to sit down and speak with several of the Chinese panelists and listening to their experiences. Aiden knows that what he learned at SAUPO will make a lasting impact on his future decisions in business.

Anna Farrar, an undergraduate at KSU studying Asian culture, had a variety of volunteer positions at SAUPO. She enjoyed the high quality of attendees at the conference, the location of the event, and the overall experience. When asked about SAUPO Anna said, "KSU's Symposium of ASIA-USA Partnership Opportunities is a wonderful experience for all attendees. Students and world leaders are able to efficiently network in a relaxed yet professional environment. The conference has a welcoming and flexible structure, allowing downtime, interesting panel topics and entertaining presenters. I plan to participate in SAUPO every year I get a chance to. As President of the Asian Studies Student Organization (ASSO) at KSU, I plan to host student preparatory events in the upcoming Spring 2016 semester so that KSU scholars can better take advantage of this generous opportunity."

Overall, student volunteers at SAUPO all have one thing in common. They loved the networking and learning opportunities at the conference. SAUPO is a unique conference in that students and business professionals have much time to interact and discuss their fields of interest.

Want to volunteer at SAUPO 2016 at Kennesaw State? Please contact SAUPO Chair Dr. May Gao, and let her know of your interest.