Your dreams. Our mission.
”I liked the interaction I had with my professors. It’s a small college, and people know each other – even the president stops you in the hall to say hello. I really like the environment here.”
Hometown: Outside Brazilia, Brazil
Major: Business Administration
Aspirations: To become a global businessman
Edmilson Alves was 20 years old when he came to America from his native Brazil. Even though he had studied in college in Brazil, he attended Hudson High School for two years to get his diploma and to continue his education. He held on to his dream of becoming a global businessman, but spent more than 10 years working before pursuing a degree.
When he first came to MassBay in 2007 he said to the ESL coordinator, “I really want to get better in English, but am I too old?” Five years later, Edmilson remembers Jennifer Nourse’s response.
“She asked me, ‘What are you going to be doing five years from now if you’re in school?’” he recalls. “’And what are you going to be doing in five years if you’re not. Which is better?’ I realized that I would have a better future if I was in school.”
That began his higher education journey at MassBay, which is reaching a successful conclusion at the end of the Fall 2011 semester. Edmilson, now 47, will earn his Associate Degree in Business Administration in December, and is now choosing from Babson, Bentley and Framingham State for his bachelor’s. “When I found out I got in to these schools I almost cried,” he says. “English is an especially tough language to learn – especially when coming to America as an adult. Most of my friends don’t speak English at all.”
The language barrier has been only one obstacle he has overcome as he pursued his associate degree at MassBay. Throughout his time here he has worked more than 40 hours a week as a cook at the Wellesley Country Club. “I have been working all my life here in the U.S. Sometimes I have to work more than 60 hours per week. What I would say is, it is manageable, but it is hard.” Perhaps even harder is that his mother, five brothers, and three sisters are back home in Brazil. He hasn’t seen his mother in 12 years. “Everything I do in life is thinking about (his mother),” he says. “My inspiration comes from my mother and from my niece Hannah.”
Edmilson is looking forward to his next educational steps – a bachelor’s and master’s degree and is certain his goal of becoming a global businessman will become a reality soon. “I want to help out Brazil and South America. Improve our country,” he says.
“My experience at MassBay has been great – since the first day,” said Edmilson. “I was a SGA senator and became involved in the MassBay community. I liked the interaction I had with my professors. It’s a small college, and people know each other – even the president stops you in the hall to say hello. I really like the environment here.”
“I would advise students to talk to your professors about your career goals, and even your personal problems,” he says. “They can guide you toward your future. They kind of become your friend.”
Editor’s Note: Edmilson Alves graduated MassBay with his Associates Degree in Business Administration and is currently majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business at Framingham State University. “I am happy, lots of homework every day!” he says.