AEL Secretary Treasurer

Ilya Solarev, University of Florida

Ilya Solarev, current secretary-treasurer for AEL, has led a diverse and exciting life. Originally from Russia, Solarev completed his undergraduate studies in Linguistics and was hired by the Soviet parliament as an interpreter for Igor Bogdanov, Minister of Youth Affairs. At the encouragement of Bogdanov, Solarev also became involved in the development of exchange programs with American Universities. Solarev worked hard translating and strove to become a " cultural interpreter rather than a linguistic interpreter."

In 1991, Solarev had the opportunity to accompany Bogdanov on his visit to the United States. Bogdanov whole-heartedly supported exchange programs with American universities. Once Bogdanov arrived in the United States, he and several people associated with American universities organized a project to help Russians learn the basics of building a democratic society. Ilya joined the venture and became a liason and project organizer, enlightening Americans as to the Soviets ways of life. Solarev worked closely with John Capece, Carole Glover and Suresh Ramamurthi founders of AEL, who were also working on similar exchange programs in the United States. Together they formed Intelligencia International, Inc. a non-profit organization whose main purpose is to assist in the exchange of students.

By serving as grant writer and project manager in Intelligentsia International, Inc. Solarev was introduced to the American business-world, which inspired him to attend graduate school and learn more about the subject. "I became interested in business having worked in the United States and seeing the changes in Russia," Solarev says. "I decided the most important and exciting thing to do was to participate in them." In 1993, the University of Florida's MBA program confirmed his acceptance. Consequently, he also received funding under an AEL assistantship to attend graduate school. Madelyn Lockhart, former University of Florida graduate school dean, provided the assistantship to Solarev in recognition of his volunteer work to build AEL between 1991 and 1993 and to support his continued service as a national AEL officer.

After two years of hard work and graduation approaching, Solarev hopes to receive responses from four or five good leads. "My competitive advantage is that I know two languages and two cultures. Also, having worked within AEL on a variety of grant projects has given me practical experience few other students get." Solarev says. "My ideal job would be to work as a management consultant for a company in the United States and advise the firm in the operation of a business in Russia." As a management consultant, the opportunity for travel is always present. "This way I have an opportunity to come back to the United States."

Alpha Epsilon Lambda is privileged and honored to have him as an officer.

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