Ousmane Kabre, a University of Wisconsin junior and recently elected Business School representative for the Associated Students of Madison, has plans to make waves outside his time at UW.
Kabre was born in the West African country Burkina Faso and came to the United States three-and-a-half years ago. He is currently studying accounting in hopes of one day going back to Africa to build a private university accessible to low-income families.
“Accounting is just my career,” Kabre said. “My interest is in education and politics.”
After graduation, Kabre said he wants to work in accounting for a few years in the United States before returning to Africa. After that, he said he hopes to make his dreams to start the university a reality.
“I want to help people in Africa, not only people in my country,” Kabre said. “One country cannot do better without the neighboring country also doing better.”
Kabre said he is already networking with contacts in the country, mainly at UW, to help him reach his goal.
Attaining an accounting degree from UW, he said, will be “extremely beneficial” for his plans and connect him to some of the top accounting firms in the country.
“If you want to undertake a huge project like this, you have to know numbers, and you have to know people,” Kabre said.
After coming to the United States, Kabre first attended the Wisconsin English as a Second Language Institute in Madison for four months before earning an Associate’s Degree in science at Madison Area Technical College.
Kabre said he was drawn to UW because of its accounting program, which appealed to him because the Integrated Master of Accountancy Program allows him to get his master’s degree in five years.
Kabre is also involved with the international honors organization for accounting professionals called Beta Alpha Psi on campus and works as a financial analyst through an American Family Insurance internship.
Kabre said his interest in politics and prior involvement in student government at MATC motivated him to run for ASM office. He was elected to represent the Business School on ASM after receiving 355 votes in last week’s spring election.
He will also serve on the Student Services Finance Committee next year after receiving 2,580 votes, the highest total votes of the three elected students.
Kabre has plans to improve the university as he serves his term as a student representative for ASM. The main priorities of his intended agenda, he said, are to lower textbook costs, increase diversity at UW and lower rising tuition.
Kabre maintains an optimistic perspective about his specific goals.
“My nickname is ‘flexible.’ The future is uncertain. People make plans, but plans may not go well in the future,” Kabre said. “I may have those plans in mind, but I might change my mind. It’s part of life.”