Good morning students and faculty!

My name is Jared, and I’m from the United States. I am a student supported by China Scholarship Council , graduating from the School of Business with my MBA this year, and I am delighted for the opportunity to represent CSU’s graduate students by saying a few words here today. During these next few minutes, I would like to tell you about my “Chinese Dream.”

Every person has many different dreams. My Chinese Dream began in 2007 when I was an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. I knew that China was experiencing rapid economic growth, a fact that sparked my interest in learning Mandarin. My friends told me that Mandarin was too difficult and that I should choose another language, but their doubts strengthened my resolve to follow through with my decision.

As I studied, I began to better understand Chinese history and culture, and got a small taste of China’s charm. Because of my positive experience, I decided to come to China for my very first trip outside of the US. In 2009, I applied to an academic program to study Chinese on the Tsinghua University campus. I stayed in Beijing for about half a year and left with many takeaways from my experience, marking the successful realization of my first Chinese Dream.

After graduating from my undergraduate program in August of 2010, I worked for an American university for two and a half years, but in my heart I knew I still wanted to return to China to pursue my dream. My boss also supported this plan. My previous experience in Beijing was like a kay that opened a new Chinese Dream: to study abroad in China. I spoke with a friend who was studying at CSU at the time, and he told me: “CSU is a great university, so come on over!” My conversation with him led me to consider coming to CSU, which was the start of my second Chinese Dream.

When I first came to Changsha in 2013, my Mandarin was still relatively poor, and studying was difficult. However, through my own hard work along with the help provided by my teachers and friends, I improved rapidly. Now, three years later, not only have I successfully completed CSU’s academic requirements but also had the opportunity to participate in many different meaningful activities organized by the university. In 2015, CSU organized two brief trips to Xiangxi, one to Yongshun county and one to Huayuan county, for us to teach English to local children. From these experiences, I learned that there are still places in China’s countryside that are still developing and are in continued need of assistance. The school also organized a trip for us to see some of China’s large companies, including China Railroad Corporation, SANY Heavy Industry, and the Broad Group, which allowed me to better grasp the speed of China’s development. All of these experiences gave me the chance to see different sides to China, and my way of thinking slowly began to change as my dreams also multiplied.

Even though I’m graduating today, my Chinese Dream will still continue as I seek to work and develop myself here in China. Currently, many Chinese companies are following the “going out” internationalization policy, seeking to enter foreign markets. I look forward to participating in this process and making my own small contribution. I have already interviewed with the Hainan Airlines Group and Goldwind. I hope that, in doing this, I will be able to achieve my third Chinese Dream—that is, stay in China to work and live. I also hold out hope that I will be able to find my “other half” here.

Finally, thank you again to Central South University for all that you have given us over the past few years, and I wish all of my classmates the best of luck as we pursue our dreams. Thank you!