KDI School prides itself as the molding place for leaders, particularly in the government. With a diverse student body from across the world, the school is steadily imprinting its ethos across various government offices. One of those individuals who is about to start waving KDI School’s Flag is Bai Matarr Jaiteh – a Gambian Master of Public Policy graduate. We sat down with Bai recently to reflect on his time here at KDI School.
Tell us about yourself Bai.
Bai. I am a recent graduate of the prestigious KDI School and a Senior Audit Associate in the Accountability Office of Gambia. I see myself as an individual that is passionate about the wellbeing of the masses. Over the last five years, I have encountered numerous challenges and worked on several projects that have allowed me to contribute significantly to the betterment of humanity. Among my hobbies are watching soccer, swimming, traveling, and exploring. So, in describing myself in three words, I will say that I am a humanitarian, a global citizen, and goal-oriented individual.
How did you find out about KDI School?
Bai. I found out about KDI School from an Alumnus who shared his experience and educational achievements from the institution. This led me to research more about the school for myself. I was impressed by the quality of the program and subsequently applied and got admitted.
Has Development always been your passion?
Bai. Growing up, I have always had a passion for development, primarily because I grew up with little. My society was such where quality education, healthcare, clean drinking water were luxuries. Feeling the pulse of my community, I harbored a deep desire to alleviate its sufferings.
Can you share with us some of your most memorable experiences here at KDI School?
Bai. Of course, KDI School is a place where one cannot but make long-lasting memories. I will share a few that were very special to me.
KDI School provides a platform where students not only have the opportunity to acquire knowledge from the classrooms, but are also exposed to the current policy issues. I was privileged to attend a series of special lectures, seminars, and workshops that delved into different issues that my country is facing.
Secondly, the learning facilities here at KDI School are amazing. A 24/7 library seat system, online resources, research labs, and many others have significantly enlightened me.
Lastly, the social programs provided me with the opportunity to bond with colleagues from more than fifty countries. The cultures and the norms we shared will forever remain in my heart.
Can you share with us your thoughts about the Korean Culture?
Bai. Coming from Africa, the Korean culture is totally different from mine; that difference allowed me to learn new things. Some of the things I admire about the Korean culture is the amount of respect it gives to the elders, the regard Koreans show for their cultural heritage, and the sense of ownership they show when it comes to anything Korean.
What do you think about the food? And what Korean food is your favorite?
Bai. In the beginning, it was hard to adapt to Korean food; however, since I am quite the adventurous type, I grew to love Korean food. My favorite is Gimbab and Kimchi.
As you are graduating, what can you say to your colleagues?
Bai. My message to the graduating students is the following, “We came to KDI School for a mission, and that mission is never accomplished unless we contribute to alleviating the development status of our respective countries. If we can survive at KDI School, we can survive anywhere. Let us come up with brilliant ideas to move our countries forward. WE CAN DO THIS!”
In five years, where does BAI want to be?
Bai. In five years, I see myself in a managerial position in my institution, which will give me more autonomy to contribute to the development of my country.
Do you feel your experience at KDI School has contributed to your future prospect?
Bai. Indeed, I feel well equipped and prepared to pursue my dreams.