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Around the world with Professor Kossakowski
Edward Kossakowski, an adjunct international business professor at Quinnipiac University, has traveled to dozens of countries, enabling him to provide his students with insights into other cultures.
“Teaching is a career I should have always pursued, but I got distracted along the way,” Kossakowski said in his distinct English accent.
One distraction was running an international business operation.
“I’ve been everywhere except Africa,” he said. He has traveled to India, Japan, New Zealand, Latin America, and a great deal of Europe between the ages of 30 and 45. Between the ages of 33 and 37, he lived in Singapore where he had a regional marketing job.
Kossakowski, a man of average build and height with dark gray hair, said that out of the 34 countries he has visited, he found China to be especially interesting. He traveled there in 1991 and 2000 and said the development was unbelievable. He said the country had shifted from “third world” to “first world” with the development of skyscrapers, multi-lane expressways, an international air terminal, fresh seafood restaurants, and five-star hotels.
Kossakowski’s hometown is Rugby in Warwickshire County, England. Rugby is about 100 miles north of London and is where the sport of rugby originated. He said one day a student picked up the ball and started running while playing football (what Americans call soccer). Kossakowski said a statue of the student stands in the center of the town.
Kossakowski attended high school in the UK and got his undergraduate degree and PhD at London and Cambridge Universities. He received his MBA at New York University.
Kossakowski made the transition to America in 1982. “The first five years were tough,” he said. Kossakowski said he missed his family and friends and unintentionally seemed critical of the States. “Americans don’t like their country criticized, even if the criticisms are intended as constructive,” he said. His criticisms were largely about the failure of the U.S. to live up to its own high ideals.
Kossakowski said he remembers being exposed to American culture in England. He said television shows, like “Bonanza” and “Starsky and Hutch” revealed American culture. Therefore, when he came to America, he already had a mental picture.
Before Kossakowski became a professor at Quinnipiac, he worked for Union Carbide, a chemical and polymers company, in Danbury, Conn. He ran one of their global business units.
He began teaching due to an emergency situation at Quinnipiac. The university needed an instructor about two weeks before the semester began a couple of years ago. A friend introduced him to the school, and he said he has been asked back to teach each and every year since.