From Global Scholar to Global Citizen: Steven Yeung ’17 Steven Yeung '17 has been in classrooms from Lexington to Ghana to Shanghai and back — and now plans to run a classroom in Japan.
“W&L has fulfilled its mission statement with me because I know that I am fully ‘prepared for lifelong learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.'”
I really wanted to study abroad to improve my Chinese language skills, so my faculty advisor, Fu laoshi, along with Kip Brooks helped me navigate the study abroad process. They suggested two programs: Alliance for Global Education in Beijing, and CET Academic Programs in Shanghai. While Alliance was more language-focused, I was drawn to CET for its internship component. As a triple-major, I had no real idea what I wanted to do after college, so I desperately needed any and all experiences to help me figure that out.
After I sent in my interests to CET, the staff secured me an interview with FTI Consulting which led to an offer to work part-time during my time in Shanghai. I was ecstatic; I would be able to apply the skills I learned through student consulting in a professional setting while also utilizing my Chinese language skills.
The tremendous support I received from W&L faculty and staff attests to their dedication to prepare students for a global and diverse society. I would not have been able to study abroad without their guidance. Nonetheless, I could not have secured this internship if it had not been for my co-curricular activities and my summer experiences. I am forever grateful for the phenomenal W&L alumni who are always available to help students with their career prospects and provide opportunities for them to succeed. Without the alumni support and the numerous job and internship opportunities, I would not have been considered for this position.
It is rare for underclassmen to intern at a large, prestigious firm during their summers, but W&L provided multiple opportunities specifically for sophomores. Career Development has been instrumental in helping me determine the right career path, and everyone in the office has helped shaped my career aspirations. I can rest assured that my application and quality as a candidate is second to none thanks to all the services provided by Career Development, from last-minute resume and cover letter reviews to interview prep (shout out to Ms. Olan and Dean Jensen). It is through them that I learned of an internship at Goldman Sachs specifically for a W&L sophomore. I interviewed on-campus with Anthony Nardini ’08, Burke Anderson ’13, and Ginny Spilman ’11 , and was fortunate enough to receive an offer.
This unique internship experience was brought up in my interview with FTI Consulting and they remarked at how incredible it was for a sophomore to have such a tremendous opportunity. My experience at FTI convinced me that consulting is what I wanted to pursue. I sought Dean Jensen’s advice on how to break into the consulting industry domestically and we figured out a plan. From there, I attended info sessions, networked with alumni, and practiced case interviews.
A.T. Kearney, a Chicago-based management consulting firm, held an info session hosted by two W&L alumni for their new liberal arts recruitment program. What really piqued my interest in the firm is its global mobility program, which allows its employees to work in one of its international offices either temporary or permanently. After studying abroad in Ghana and China, I knew I wanted a career that offered international opportunities. Speaking with Will Mooney ’15 and Michael Ooms ’10 heightened my desire to work for the firm. They took some time out of their busy work schedules to help me prepare for my A.T. Kearney interviews and I credit them, along with every other professor, faculty, and staff who have shaped me as an intellectual and as a person, for my success in obtaining a full-time offer.
W&L has fostered a passion for international experiences within its students. After my Ghana trip, I actually went to visit some of my fellow classmates who were in Frankfurt for the AmCham program, a US-Germany internship exchange of sorts. Between all of my experiences abroad, I knew that I needed to traverse the world a little more before starting a full-time job. I am lucky that A.T. Kearney has a “Flexible Launch” program where it offers you the choice of when to start. I have decided to capitalize on this opportunity to teach English in Japan and to live in Australia.
I am indebted to W&L for the wealth of opportunities it has provided me. I know that as an alumnus, I will give back to the school which has given so much to me. W&L has fulfilled its mission statement with me because I know that I am fully “prepared for life-long learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.”
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A little more about Steven
Politics, East Asian Languages and Literature (Chinese), and Business Administration
– Pan-Asian Association for Cultural Exchange (PAACE), Treasurer
– University Ambassadors, Advisory Committee
– Student Consulting
– Real Estate Society
– College Democrats
Fun fact: I used to work at Haywoods as a server and at the Rockbridge Swim Team as an assistant swim coach. Student consulting has also exposed me to various organizations and members of the community.
Why did you choose your major?
Funny story for my Chinese major: I made a deal with my mom in middle school and I’m following through with that promise. My mom tried to teach me Mandarin when I was a kid, but I absolutely hated it since I could have used that time for much more fun things like watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. Now you may be wondering, “Hey, aren’t you Chinese?” Yes, my family is Chinese but we speak a local dialect called Fuzhounese. So, every Sunday we’d have Mandarin lessons and I absolutely hated it, so I made a deal with my mom that if we would stop, I’d major in it in college.
I’ve loved politics and have been involved since high school, so that was a no-brainer. I was really interested in business administration and the careers associated with it. In the end, I didn’t want to give up any opportunities, so I was able to fandangle my schedule to accommodate all three majors while graduating on time.
What professor has inspired you?
Since day one, I have wanted to have a class with Professor Dickovick – his reputation precedes him. I tried to register for his Introduction to Global Politics class freshman year, but by the time our registration opened it already had a 40+ person wait list. I ended up signing up for his African Politics class where we went to Accra, Ghana. I got to know Professor Dickovick a lot better, and have looked up to him as a role model ever since. When he’s not chirping me, he provides invaluable advice. His work as a Peace Corps volunteer is inspirational in and of itself, but after having him for class and speaking to him one-on-one, he has deepened my appreciation for global affairs and made me a more globally minded citizen.
What’s your personal motto?
Just go with the flow because everything will turn out okay.
What’s your favorite song right now?
“Bidibodi Bidibu” by The Bubbles
Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
I get Mapo Tofu at Hong Kong’s because my dad makes it at home, so it’s nice comfort food. But the penne vodka at Frank’s is fire.
Teaching English in Japan, utilizing the work-holiday visa in Australia, and then starting my full-time job at A.T. Kearney.
Favorite W&L memory:
Everyone gathering together on snow days, or trying to study in the Late Night Library
African Politics with Professor Dickovick or Cool Japan with Tashiro Sensei
Favorite W&L event:
Lunar New Year Festival or rush week – it’s great seeing the excitement (and relief) when a first-year gets a bid.
Favorite campus landmark:
It’s cliché, but the Colonnade never gets old. I love sitting on the lawn during warm weather days.
What’s your passion?
Helping others succeed.
Why did you choose W&L?
Two reasons: the professors and the community. I absolutely loved W&L when I stayed overnight because everyone was so friendly and welcoming. The professors also showed a genuine interest in their students and wanted them to succeed. I know now that the professors are truly invested in their students and will go to great lengths to see them succeed.