Thomas Angelo: Final Reflection

Being able to go on this trip was such a blessing. My case was even more special. Originally, I had been waitlisted for the entire Plus3 program. Then, magically I got an e-mail saying I was accepted for Plus3 China. After setting up my meeting with Mr. Miner and learning about the due dates, I realized I had a week to convince my parents to let me go. Having the Thomas Angelo Honors Scholarship was a great part in helping convince my parents. Making such a financial decision within one week is tough, having a scholarship lightened that load a little and I am extremely thankful to have had that scholarship.

My time abroad was excellent. First and foremost, I tried to cast away any preconceptions about the country that our media, stereotypes, and anything anyone who I told I was going to China to said to me because all of which are rooted in assumptions. Since I would be the first person I know to actual go to China, I figured this would be best so I can form my own, authentic thoughts. This ending up serving me best and I was pleasantly surprised at everything I had learned and experienced while abroad. From the cultural visits, company tours, meeting with executives, taking classes, and meeting with students to everything I did outside of the program’s scheduled activities, I can say I improved and grew as a person on multiple facets.

My visit to China may have even more of a profound effect on me than previously mentioned. My visit to China may be the root that causes me to change my major. I am currently set up to major in Finance and Business Information Systems, minor in Economics, and pursue a certificate in Business Analytics (CPBA). However, after my trip to China I have been considering adding a Chinese minor and dropping the Business Information Systems major to take more Finance and Chinese classes. Since I only came to this decision during my two weeks abroad, I am planning to spend my summer evaluating those two options and look forward to solidifying my plan this fall. Besides my studies, I also plan to continue my involvement in the Stock Trading Pitt as a Senior Analyst and as a member in Enactus.

Putting every fact and bit of knowledge I learned while abroad into a summary is a recipe for an endless summary. However, there are many general ideas and themes that were reinforced throughout my trip. To begin, I learned to attack everything with an open mind. From not letting false preconceptions determine my own thoughts to trying new food, we have to be open minded in everything we do. As our world and nations become more integrated with each other, this fact will only stand the test of time and my trip to China only gave me my first glimpse into this. Next, I learned how much more of a role China plays in our global atmosphere than I had previously thought before. I credit this to our visit to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Our presenters did an excellent job explaining the strength of China’s economy and how some of their future five year plans could really stir up our current global economic and political landscapes. Following that, I decided that I should make an effort to become bilingual. As I mentioned earlier, I believe our world and the businesses in it will only continue to become more integrated with each other and that we will see many more companies turn into multi-national corporations (MNCs). Learning the language of the most populated country in the world could pay dividends to a finance student. Why finance specifically? Because as I learned while abroad, China’s financial markets are completely underdeveloped in comparison to the rest of their markets. Perhaps I could end up being a part of the development of these markets once I graduate. If not, being bilingual will still make me a strong candidate for any company.

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