Looking Forward to China

Hi! I’m Ruben Verhagen, a rising sophomore in the Swanson School of Engineering. I’m from West Chester, PA in the Delaware Valley where I live with my family and two cats. I intend to complete a Mechanical Engineering degree, as well as a minor in Electrical Engineering and a certificate in Innovation, Product Design, and Entrepreneurship. At Pitt I am a member of Theta Tau, Engineering Student Council, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. I also played baritone horn in the Pitt Band and competed with the Club Triathlon team in North Carolina.

I’m really excited for my trip to China, and I feel very lucky to be able to participate in the Plus3 program. I chose China because I saw it as an opportunity to immerse myself in a very different culture. I’ve never been to any country in Asia, and I can’t wait to travel to one of the continent’s largest. I think a trip to China is especially valuable due to it’s rich ancient history and it’s ever-increasing relevance in the manufacturing and tech industries. I especially want to visit the Great Wall, the Yu Garden, and the great modern city of Shanghai.

With the increasing rate of globalization in the world today, it’s necessary to have an understanding of how your industry functions on an international scale. I hope to gain an insight into how smartphone products are developed in China, and especially how research is conducted in large companies that have R&D centers worldwide. By learning more about smartphone and personal tech in China, I hope to find ways that I could apply an engineering degree in the future, and help to decide whether I should pursue a degree more focused on computer engineering, rather than mechanical and electrical.

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