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Kalamazoo College

AJ Convertino


Hometown: Canton, MI
Major: East Asian Studies
Minors: Chinese and Political Science
Study Abroad: Beijing, China
Best Adjective to Describe You: Ask my mom

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
The Chinese department feels like a second family. Due to its size, as a Chinese student you are given the opportunity to personally connect with every student taking Chinese as well as the professors.

What is your advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
Your DSA is a place you can go to for any advice. If there is something that you have questions or concerns about, the DSA in your department can reflect upon their past experiences and knowledge in order to assist you.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
My time at K changed how I view the world. Since coming to K, I have been exposed to more viewpoints and backgrounds than I have ever before. This includes both my time on campus as well as my time studying abroad in China.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class at K has been Chinese. Knowing that learning Chinese would enable me to communicate with hundreds of millions of people that I otherwise would not have been able to communicate with before is part of the reason I loved going to class.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
While abroad in China, I participated in an internship with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) China headquarters. This was the most rewarding experience I took away from my time abroad. I encourage everyone to participate in an internship in their target language while abroad if possible.

What is your SIP?
My SIP is a translation SIP. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) China headquarters has just released a research report on renewable energy and innovative technology in collaboration with the Chinese government. In order to release this report for an international audience, it needs to be translated into English. For my SIP, I will be single-handedly taking on this translation.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
My career aspirations after K are to work in the United States government in a sector of national security. I hope to be given the opportunity with the government to work in an area where I am able to use Chinese.

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