Leadership Team

Jamie Kanki

Head of Global Access Services

“Beyond an academic degree, an international education teaches, curiosity, cultural literacy, acceptance, patience, kindness, maturity, self-reliance and independence – all highly valuable skills in any country’s workforce – regardless of the degree it comes with. “


 

When did you join Grok?
2019

Describe yourself in three words.
Loyal, Passionate, Driven

What were you doing before working at Grok?
I serve as Head of Engagement & Partnerships for Concourse Global- connecting high schools and their students directly to the universities who are searching for them. Prior to Concourse, I was the Associate Director for Graduate Marketing and Recruitment for New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. I’ve also worked for the University of Bridgeport and the University of Missouri-Kansas City- both in International Admissions. These schools were vastly different from one another and each came with a unique set of benefits and challenges. My experiences at these varied institutions has taught me so much about the international education field and the importance of a strategic and diverse student recruitment plan.

What was your first job in education?
Teaching English in Niimi, Japan through the JET Programme

What does international education mean to you?
An international education is the key to economic and social mobility – not only for a single student, but also their families and surrounding communities. Beyond an academic degree, an international education teaches, curiosity, cultural literacy, acceptance, patience, kindness, maturity, self-reliance and independence – all highly valuable skills in any country’s workforce – regardless of the degree it comes with.

What is one of the most satisfying outcomes you’ve helped a client to achieve?
In April of last year, a US university made a huge budgetary error and had to revoke full scholarships of more than 60 Nepali students. Working with Concourse Global to assist them was honestly one of the most rewarding and challenging things I’ve ever worked on. We worked closely with the US Education Foundation (USEF) Nepal and connected them with universities around the globe to find these students new program options- even with the added challenge of this happening in late April, and the students having extremely low budgets. Within 12 months, all of the students have been placed at new institutions. It was a miracle to be honest. But it was one that we enabled using Concourse.

What is something interesting you have learned while working in international education?
The people in this industry are some of the most passionate and collegial people I’ve ever known. When the Nepal crisis I mentioned earlier happened, there was a collective movement of higher education professionals around the globe who came together to try and solve the problem. I love how this community shares and learns from one another.

Why is it important for institutions to have a global presence?
Beyond diversifying your recruitment streams and not becoming overly dependent on a single market, having a global presence improves the quality of education you offer your students. It diversifies the student population and invites different voices of thought into our classroom discussions, it encourages cultural literacy, acceptance and early stages of diplomacy, and it increases the value of the education and the conferring degree overall.

What is your favourite movie?
The Fall (2006, directed by Tarsem Singh)

What is your dream travel destination? Why?
Mars. I really like to visit non-touristy places. 🙂

What is your favourite food to eat with friends?
I love having a nice weekend brunch with friends.

What is a quote that has inspired you?
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” – Abraham Maslow