I started studying Chinese 3 years ago in preparation for a 10-day research trip to China. My travel experiences in China have all been at times exhausting but always addicting. This last year I decided to pursue a master's degree in Chinese for a number of reasons. The main and most significant of these being that China's condition is a bellwether for the future of the global environment in the 21st Century - socially, politically, and physically. My bachelor's degree was in Civil Engineering with a Complimentary Major in Chinese and Japanese Studies at Valparaiso University.
In the near future I hope to find work in an international engineering, environmental, or water-resources firm of some sort with projects in China. Throughout my career I will keep looking for opportunities to participate in cooperation between USA, China, and other environmentally distressed developing nations.
Right now China faces many imminent issues that cannot be solved without improved education and technology, while the USA could not hope to solve the global problems of the 21st century without China's cooperation. Therefore, I am confident that a degree in Chinese will be worth the effort. So far it's been a great challenge and a lot of fun.