The networking event series “Coffee and Conversation” has become a popular tradition among the FLEX alumni community in Turkmenistan. It was started three years ago by then FLEX Alumni Coordinator Diana Muhammedova ’08 (Mary, Turkmenistan/Brunswick, GA), and has successfully passed the test of time. It has become an event that is loved by alumni from all generations.

At each event, a guest speaker who is established in his or her professional field meets with alumni to discuss professional development topics, the current job market, and provide tips to those who are seeking jobs. The informal setting at a local coffee shop helps alumni feel comfortable, participate in the discussion, and openly share their success stories. During the last “Coffee and Conversation” event, FLEX alumni met with the U.S. Embassy Education Coordinator, who talked about the Fulbright Program, shared successful application tips, and discussed how to choose a university that best suits the needs of the applicant.

Maral Ilyasova ’04 (Dashoguz, Turkmenistan/Loraine, TX) finds these events very beneficial and she recently shared, “For me, the Coffee and Conversation events are a treasure trove of life experiences that protects me from making mistakes in my own life by learning lessons through other people.”

Kerven Myradov ’17 (Ashgabat, Turkmenistan/Stamford, NE), a younger alumnus also enjoy taking part in these events, saying “I find the Coffee and Conversation events interesting and interactive. I make new friends, bond with older alumni, and learn something new – all while enjoying a delicious cake with a cup of coffee.”

Written by Ilyas Seisov ‘09 (Ashgabat, Turkmenistan/Estancia, NM)