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Steven Yeung – Gilman Scholarship

Name: Steven Yeung

Class Year: 2017

Hometown: Melfa, Virginia

Major(s): East Asian Language and Literature (Chinese), Politics (concentration in American Government), Business Administration

Opportunity and Year: Gilman Scholarship Program, 2015-16

Project Summary: My project while I am abroad is to keep a blog for CET, the program that I’m studying with in China. When I return, my project will be to provide more information about the Gilman Scholarship to the current student body  at Washington and Lee by tabling in the Commons, at Activity Fairs, etc.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? In my scholarship application, I talked about my Chinese language instruction and the superb East Asian Languages Department at Washington and Lee. While I only have two years of language instruction, the laoshi (professors) have made a dramatic impact on my life. They fostered my passion for the Chinese language and encouraged me to pursue my study abroad ambitions, even though I was wary about how a semester away from campus would affect my academic goal of graduating as a triple-major. I cannot stress how important and influential Red House has been in my development, both as a student and as a person. Fu laoshi, Su laoshi, and Zhu laoshi all played an essential role in preparing me for this opportunity. Without them, none of this would have been possible.

Kip Brooks first alerted me to this scholarship; without her, I never would have applied. Much appreciation to her as well, for all the study abroad and scholarship advice!

Why did you apply for this opportunity? As a student with financial need, the Gilman Scholarship was integral in my study abroad experience because it subsidizes the expensive study abroad experience. The Ju Fellowship, awarded by the EALL department, the Gilman Scholarship, and generous financial aid from Washington and Lee allowed me to study abroad without any worry for financial constraints, providing me with an uninhibited study abroad experience. Furthermore, this scholarship connects me to a broader network of Gilman Scholars, which will undoubtedly be a great resource in the coming years.

Post-graduation Plans: I have absolutely no idea what I want to do after I graduate from W&L — I wish I didn’t have to leave — however, I do know that a thorough knowledge of the Chinese culture and language will help me wherever I go. I am currently interested in the finance and consulting industries. Maybe I’ll work for a large consulting firm abroad, or maybe for a small Asian finance boutique looking to globalize—no idea where I’ll end up, but glad I’m enjoying the ride.

How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? With China’s continuous growth in the world market and economy, having a solid understanding of China’s evolution and being able to communicate will prove to be nothing but beneficial. One of the main reason why I chose CET is because of their requirement of an internship during the semester abroad. They connected me with a multinational consulting firm, which allowed me to gain practical experience, explore a potential career path, and get a taste of a foreign work environment.

Extracurricular Involvement:

Greek Life, Student Consulting, Tour guide for the Student Recruitment Committee/Student Ambassadors, Assistant Coach for the Rockbridge Storm Swim Team, Pan-Asian Association for Cultural Exchange (PAACE), and Real Estate Society

Off-campus Experience:

Accra, Ghana; Shanghai, China

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