I first became interested in China at the age of 20 when I was finishing my sophomore year at St. John's University in central Minnesota. I was hoping to study abroad in the fall quarter of my junior year, and chose Chongqing in Sichuan province because it seemed the most different from home.
I was intrigued with the culture, food, and people enough that when I finished school I returned to Chongqing in 1997 to work as an English teacher. I spent two years teaching in Chongqing, and studied the language constantly. Most of my friends were Chinese artists and businessmen who did not speak much English, so to communicate I needed to study.
I moved to Shanghai in 1999, where I worked at an international real estate company for about a year and a half as a leasing agent for their sole-agency accounts. I represented Ford Motors, Philips, Unilever and Nokia while I was there. My duties involved showing new families around town, setting their children up in private schools, and negotiating housing leases. It was a fun job, but I realized I would need to return to the states to get more business experience and an MBA if I really wanted to make progress in China in the way I hoped.
In 2001 I moved to Seattle and have worked primarily in the real estate industry. I'm one year from graduation with a Master's in International Business from Seattle University and hope to move back to China shortly after graduation. I believe the knowledge I've gained from working in business in both countries plus the added studies I've undertaken will make me a valuable asset to companies planning to sell products in China and produce them for export. Please comment on any of the blog entries I make here, as I value all feedback.