Hiring Spotlight – Forel Kourouma

January 30, 2022

Forel Kourouma spotlight article

Forel Kourouma joined Yale Human Resources in February 2020. We had a chance to talk with Forel about his current role, hobbies, and advice for young professionals as a recent college graduate and New Haven Promise alumni.

Tell us about yourself?

I was raised in New Haven and attended James Hillhouse High School, where I played basketball and football. I was awarded a New Haven Promise Scholarship but chose to enroll in Hampshire College in Massachusetts. At Hampshire College, I focused on the interdisciplinary studies of African History and Entrepreneurship. This academic path took me across six countries on four continents and led me to create a summer internship in Senegal for my senior thesis. Hampshire College awarded me the Certificate of Ethical Leadership for my work, and I graduated with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in May 2019.

Tell us about your current role at Yale?

I work as an administrative assistant in the Yale Temporary Staffing Service of Human Resources. I joined the department in February 2020, thirty-five days before the university instituted a hiring pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic. My role supports administrative departments across the university while they look to fill open positions or need temporary coverage for staff on a leave of absence.

You are NHP alumni. How did the program shape your career?

New Haven Promise helped me to engage directly with hiring managers. I was initially hired at Yale through a New Haven Promise Internship, which marked the beginning of my career after college. After the three-month internship, I secured a temporary role at another department with the help of New Haven Works, and six months later, I gained permanent employment through a referral from a Yale recruiter.

Would you like to share some fun facts with us?

Sure! I am a realtor and run a full-blown real estate investment firm outside Yale. My company owns and manages nearly ten apartment units in New Haven. My goal is to run a real estate private equity firm and pivot to commercial development in New Haven or one of the developing countries I visited in college. I also like working out and enjoy playing five-on-five basketball.

What is your advice for recent grads and young professionals looking for employment?

Know your story well and share it with confidence. Prepare interview responses but do not neglect the delivery. Practice your answers in front of a mirror or do a mock interview session in front of friends. Remember, you can have a great interview and still not get the job. Do not get discouraged because “NO” means Next Opportunity!