Why Beijing? An Alum's Story

As an eager, open-minded first-year student at UNC, I had no idea I’d find my way to China during my career at Carolina until I enrolled in the Minor in Entrepreneurship.  A friend one year ahead of me was part of the first cohort in the Beijing internship program. He returned from China that summer and couldn’t contain his excitement as he reflected on his experience. So I decided to apply. My life would be forever changed.

 I had the privilege of working for a British entrepreneur at EASTWEST Public Relations in the heart of the bustling city’s central business district. Every day, I learned firsthand about the joys, challenges and opportunities that come with working in the capital of one of the world’s economic powerhouses. 

 I came back to Chapel Hill after my internship in Beijing with a global perspective on entrepreneurship, a long-term, insatiable interest in China, and new ideas about innovation.  The experiences I had in Beijing that summer assured me that I would return to China again. After graduating from UNC in 2011, I moved to China, where I am completing a two-year teaching fellowship with Teach For China in a rural village in Guangdong Province. I teach over 160 students at a high-need, low-income school where only 3% of the students have the opportunity to go to college. Every day, I work to apply the knowledge and skills I learned in the Minor in Entrepreneurship in Chapel Hill and in Beijing to innovate and figure out ways to give my students the opportunities they deserve.

 Before this year, you may never have thought that you’d be interested in doing an internship in China. As an alumnus of this program who had the same perspective as a sophomore, I highly you to take the risk and apply to this program—it will absolutely be worth your while.

 Wyatt Bruton 吴华