Hani Chkess on north stars // Humans of Aspire 

If you’d meet someone who says their best achievement is their ‘bulion’, would you believe them?

Hani Chkess graduated from our Aspire High School program in 2013, and in 2015 became Aspire Academy Alumnus. After graduating from Tufts University, he is currently working at Financial Times Strategies as a Project Manager. Find out more about Hani Chkess and the impact that Aspire had on him in our Humans of Aspire series.

What are you working on right now (maybe both on a personal and professional level)? 


“I’m working on baking skills as I find it very relaxing. I really enjoy doing things that require a lot of attention to detail and anything that has yeast and flour can go a million ways depending on temperature, the ingredients you use and time.” 


“I like building and deploying stuff that creates value. That’s how I landed on project management where organising people and resources to make something happen is the name of the game. When I grow up, I dream of either owning my business or having a senior position in operations in a start-up.” 

What do you consider your best achievement is?

“Growing my own tomato crop and making passata (bulion – if you know, you know) out of it. I started with a batch of seeds from Asda and ended up with buckets of tomatoes.” 

What does Aspire mean to you?


I’m very grateful and humbled to have been an Aspire member for almost 10 years next summer. When I was a teen, Aspire introduced me to people I really looked up to, you know? As a teenager hailing from Cluj, I did not have a place to meet cool young people – too cool for school for my teachers and my parents did not do what I wanted to do. Attending the course in 2013 introduced me to role models like Ana, Cristi, Dinu and Alex.  That helped me set a north star for who I wanted to be later in my twenties. “

You graduated both from our High School Program (2013) and our Academy one, 2 years later. How do you feel it impacted your personal & professional growth?

“Being an Aspire member gave me a real kick in the rear and pushed me to follow my dreams. I got coached on my uni apps and ended up receiving a full ride at Tufts (thanks Cristi), I got help exploring what to do with myself after uni and, best for last, I got amazing network friends all over the world. “

What is the most treasured memory you have from Aspire?

“Poiana Brasov, summer night of 2015, Geo Baciu and Andrada Baba (now Dragan)  and I, featuring a 2L bottle of wine from the local kiosk. We spent the evening forging a relationship which lasted through the years. (Geo, you still owe me a bus ticket).”

After reading this, don’t you feel a bit closer to us? Stay tuned for the following articles, and meet the Aspire Family, which is full of surprises! Be ready for them<3

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