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Posted 3.20.17

First-year MBA student, Hans Wang, has been volunteering with Junior Achievement for the last few months. He teaches global business concepts to two seventh grade classrooms on Friday afternoons. Alexis Hayman was able to sit down and learn a little more about his experience with JA.

How do you think volunteering has benefited you? From an international perspective, it has given me a new point of view and helped me engage with American Culture. I have been given an opportunity to talk with kids about their preferences, learn about their behavior and gain exposure to the education dynamics that are totally different from a Chinese middle school class. This is also a great opportunity to practice speaking in front of a larger American audience. I talk for 45 minutes! The kids are very forgiving if I make a mistake so it is a safe space to practice. I feel so confident and I feel so improved! 

Do you think this will help you in your career search? Yes! Absolutely. This is a great chance to learn and make mistakes. For example, I saw a guy on Modern Family call a little kid “brother.” I tried that in class and the student didn’t like being called brother. I learned from a friend that some people can find that offensive. I learned “dude” would be better in that scenario. That is just a small example of how I am learning real life cultural skills that I think will set me apart since I can avoid making those kinds of mistakes with coworkers or clients. 

Do you have advice for anyone thinking about volunteering? Yes, I think everyone, especially business students, need to engage in this kind of activity to improve their public speaking skills. To get people to listen, of any age, is not easy. The students are forgiving so get out there and try it!


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