It is quite common worldwide for college friends to stay in touch after graduation. Most universities host alumni events and reunions, and invite alumni to big campus events and celebrations. Close friends from college may catch up regularly, schedule visits to see one another, and stay in touch throughout the years. But the connection that John Cabot University alumni have with each other is different. I have learned over the past few years since I graduated that the relationships and connections made at JCU go well beyond just being “friends from college.” They are unique, they create a lasting impact, and they even get stronger over the years.
John Cabot students come from all over the globe. They each bring with them to JCU their own culture, life experience, and worldview. After graduation, many choose to continue being “global explorers” and accept jobs or choose grad schools in other parts of the world. Others decide to bring their international experience back to their home country. Yet, somehow, they always seem to be running into each other in the most unexpected places. I think that is what makes a John Cabot reunion more special than one from any other university. As global citizens, in whatever city in the world we may find ourselves, there will always be another JCU graduate to meet up with.
In some cases, these alumni see each other from time to time around the world, catching up over coffee. But, in others, the JCU connection takes them even further, and they end up helping each other out with personal or professional projects. A perfect example of this kind of teamwork is the current collaboration between George and Tamaz Gomiashvili and Abby McCutchen, all JCU graduates. George and Tamaz (Class of 2010 and Class of 2015, respectively) are brothers from Georgia, who grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia. After graduating with degrees in Business Administration, Tamaz and George decided to join their family in the international restaurant business. They both took on management of the restaurants located in Sofia, Nice, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.
Abby is a JCU alumna from Texas with a degree in International Business. After graduating in 2016, she worked for a year in the JCU Admissions office before joining a manufacturing start-up company in the United States. Abby and the Gomiashvili brothers had crossed paths a few times since leaving John Cabot, but it’s when they all found themselves living in Los Angeles earlier this year that they began collaborating on a professional level.
The Gomiashvili family is now in the process of opening their first restaurant in the United States. Incidentally, Abby has also always been interested in the hospitality industry. With her experience in project management, business development, sales, and customer relations, joining the brothers in their newest business endeavor seemed like the perfect fit.
Abby now works as the manager of their Los Angeles restaurant, reporting to Tamaz as he and his family finish up some tasks in Russia and Georgia. Tamaz trusts Abby to be his eyes and ears for the restaurant while he is out of town. If there’s one thing that the JCU alumni community can tell you, it is that we truly depend on our fellow graduates. Whether you are simply looking for a friendly face in a new city, or a trustworthy team member to join your company, you can always count on a fellow JCU graduate to get the job done.
Alexa Vujaklija (Shearer)
Class of 2015
Grew up in the United States, Germany, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria