Destination: China!

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Hi everyone, my name is Noah Mueller and I cannot wait to see China for the first time! I am from Littleton, Massachusetts, a small town about an hour west of Boston. Right now I am undecided on my major in the College of Business Administration, so I am hoping this trip will inspire me and point me down an exciting career path. This is not my first time traveling, my dad is from Germany so I have flown to Europe many times to visit family and friends. I may be an experienced flyer, but if eight hours on a plane returning home from Germany feels long, then the flight to China is looking to be a new experience on its own.
Back home, I worked for over three years as a camp counselor during both the school year and over the summer. I also helped my friend start a small lawn care business and I mowed lawns independently for cash. In high school I was the captain of my tennis team and I also volunteered often for the Miracle League of Massachusetts, a baseball league for disabled children. This upcoming summer I will be taking an extra course at my community college and I will travel to Germany again to see my family.
On campus, I am a senior analyst in the technology sector at Panther Equity, an investment fund managed by Pitt students. Panther Equity is a big reason behind why I chose the China Plus 3 program over the other available countries. I did research on smartphone companies like Xiaomi and Huawei and I wanted to learn more about them, so what better way learn than actually seeing the companies in person? Meeting huge technology companies will not only help me learn, but it will give me experience in a real professional environment which I know will make me more confident when talking to company representatives in the future.
Besides my interest in the smartphone industry, I also want to visit China because I feel like I need my own experience there to put what I think I know about the country and its culture in perspective. China has always seemed enigmatic to me, I feel like the China that is presented by the news is completely different from the China that is presented by art and film. It seems to be both an ancient and modern country, with a deep and rich history but also a reputation as a leading technology innovator. I am very curious to see how elements of the China I have been shown will hold up to the China I see for myself.
Before Plus 3, I never seriously imagined myself traveling to China, but now I have the opportunity and we are going to do twice as many amazing activities than I would have been able to do if I was traveling alone. I look forward to the trip and all the new memories I can make on my study abroad experience!

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