Dispatches from Los Angeles: Moving during a Pandemic

Written by: Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert

Image credit: Transport Executive

What is the one thing one dreads to do during so-called normal times that would be the last thing on the list during a global pandemic? Can you hazard a guess? If you answered “moving,” then you’re spot on.

After spending the past four months of lock-down working remotely, our ACEI team has proven to be just as productive as they had been while spending their eight hours at the office. In fact, they are dedicating the time they spent crawling on the freeways making their way through LA’s infamous traffic in the comforts of their home offices and getting an early head start to the day. During our first ten years, ACEI called S. Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills its base. Within that ten years we moved our office to larger suites in the same building to accommodate our rapid growth. The next sixteen years, ACEI called Culver City, CA its home. We enjoyed a very large open space with skylights and floor to ceiling windows spanning one entire side of the suites we occupied giving us a panorama of the on going development in the area. We saw the LA metro complete its building of the Culver City stop, a stone throw away from us. Soon after, we watched the construction of a still-in progress giant multi-complex commercial development. We have also witnessed the growing number of homeless encampments that is now become a common sight through Los Angeles.

What we also realized was that the old paradigm of holding on to large square footage of office space, especially the open shared spaces that had become popular in the recent years is no longer an efficient or prudent way to operate a business. With fewer people commuting and working from home, we just couldn’t justify the space that was literally beginning to look like expensive storage for office furniture and our reference library. So, the move. ACEI’s new home will be in Mar Vista, Los Angeles, about five miles west of the current location. We will be returning to individual private offices in a building with a lush courtyard, perfect for a meditative break.  But, preparing for the move which represents sixteen years of accumulated paper, books, supplies, furniture, computer and electronic equipment is not for the faint at heart. It has been cathartic! Where is Marie Kondo when you need her?!

Despite a global pandemic, lock downs, travel bans, campus closures, postponement of in-class instructions, civil protests, looming elections, we rally on, by keeping the proverbial doors of ACEI open and even embark on a move. Having fully embraced the digital age we are able to continue with our daily operations and providing our credentials evaluation and consulting services without a hitch. The point is to not freeze and become passive. As Albert Einstein is noted to have said: “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” And change it is.

Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).


The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA.  ACEI is a full-service company providing complete and integrated services in the areas of international education research, credential evaluation, and translation. ACEI’s Global Consulting Group®, offers expertise in the following specialties: Media and Branding, Global Pathways, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to interested institutions and organizations around the globe. www.acei-global.org

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