Name: Connor Hagan
Class Year: 2017
Favorite Class: China Business Environment (taken abroad in Hong Kong University)
Favorite thing about BC:
One thing I really like about BC is how they encourage you to study a broad range of things. My major is Finance, but I can still take a lot of other classes such as different languages and art history.
What can you see yourself doing after graduation?
For longer term, I want to be a consultant to bridge between the Chinese and American market; anytime when a company want to expand from one country to another- either it’s an American or Chinese company- I want to be advising about the differences and cross-cultural exchange aspects.
For shorter term, I am currently applying for consulting jobs in the U.S., because I want to have a solid foundation of related skills. Last year I was interviewing with a consulting firm in China, but all the interviews were conducted in Mandarin, so I figured out I can’t really learn as much in China as in the U.S. for now.
What are you doing to get there?
Learning Chinese, meeting people who have the same interest, and developing my network. I’m trying to learn as much as possible, especially through work experience. China and U.S. have been in trade for only 20 years, so it is really new, and there is a lot to learn.
How did you learn about international business?
Professors can be great tool, because a lot of them have worked in the related fields in the past. Even if they don’t, they can always connect you with someone they know who has experience in the field. I talked to my professor and was asking what I should look at during summer, and my professor gave me advice. That was how I started my summer internship.
What factors have contributed to your interest in international business?
My study of Chinese, all the time I’ve spent in China, and my work experience- the more time you spend working in the environment, the more you learn about what you want to be.
How did you get started exploring potential careers?
I just started wherever I could. It’s really hard to get started because you have no previous experience. I started exploring with a very small marketing consulting company; even if that wasn’t what I wanted to do, that’s something that could help me go into where I want to be in the future.
What advice would you give to students who are also interested in international business?
You really have to commit to it, dedicate yourself, and challenge yourself. It’s also important to meet as many people as possible, and listen to their perspectives and advice- don’t be afraid to reach out to people you don’t know.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Last year I was awarded the Fulbright scholarship to Xi’an China. Although I didn’t end up going due to the conflicts in my schedule, that’s what I consider my greatest achievement so far.
Who are your heroes in real life?
I don’t have a specific name, but I’d love to describe the qualities of my heroes. I respect those who are truly interested in what they are doing.
I was working with banking last year, and a lot of people did it just because they wanted the money. I respect that kind of people who don’t pursue their careers for money or prestige, but because of genuine love.