Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Julie Kenning

Visiting China

Study Abroad Student Profile

Name:
Julie Kenning

Your major(s) and minor(s):
Accounting and Information Systems, minor in International Business

Engagement on campus:
Kolodzik Business Scholars Association, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Cats on Deck, Lindner Women in Business

Co-op Placements:
Deloitte – Audit Intern

Graduation year:
May 2018

Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Faculty-led program to Beijing, Chengdu, Xiamen, and Hong Kong.

Describe the location you studied abroad for someone who has never been there. 
China is an extremely fascinating communist country full of interesting history, breathtaking attractions, and a culture full of mystery for Westerners. China has the largest population of any country on Earth, with more than 1.35 billion people causing bumper to bumper traffic in congested and noisy streets. The potential to become a leading world political and economic power is limitless judging by the way it is currently developing.

Why did you chose your program?
I saw this opportunity as an immersion and deep learning experience into the Chinese culture. I have always been fascinated by the Eastern culture and wanted to experience China's unique blend of ancient and modern civilization, as well as its scenic beauty and energetic nightlife.

What was your best memory from your time abroad?
A few of my favorite memories were climbing the Great Wall of China, taking the ferry to Gulang Island, and seeing the amazing view of the Hong Kong harbor at Victoria’s Peak.

How did you afford an international experience?
Traveling internationally may be expensive, but the experience significantly outweighs the cost. Each co-op rotation I began saving half of my paychecks and worked part time jobs so I could pay for all expenses on my own. I also received grants from the Marvin P. Kolodzik Business Scholars Program and the Lindner College of Business to help me afford this experience.

How did you plan academically to be able to study abroad?
Since I am on a five year academic plan, it was extremely important for me to find time to study abroad. Between the strict rotation of co-op and academic semesters, I wanted to study abroad during a time in which I wasn’t missing school or work. I knew the China trip was every year during the month of May, so I scheduled my co-op rotations and class schedules around this specific program.

Has study abroad changed who you are as a person? If so, in what ways?
Studying abroad changed my view on life, sense of confidence, and respect for diversity. Speaking with the natives, participating in local festivals and visiting the top attractions offered a new type of learning experience in which sparked a new passion for learning. You truly don’t understand a different culture until you immerse yourself intellectually, emotionally and physically.

How has study abroad influenced you career path?
Studying abroad has influenced my career path because it has solidified my dream of working internationally. Although there are many differences, there are also a lot of similarities. We’ve seen in the recent months, China’s economy has impacted the United States, South America and Europe. This made me realize how integrated and dependent businesses are on each other’s economies. Due to this new found knowledge, I came to the conclusion that it is vital to understand other cultures and how to do business with them. My comfort level to do business abroad grew immensely after studying abroad for a month and taking public transportation, conversing with locals, and experiencing the economy firsthand.

How have you stayed in contact with your classmates and overseas friends since returning to the US?
Since returning to the United States, I have stayed in contact with most of my classmates on our trip. We have a GroupMe in which we talk in daily and we also are planning a reunion for all of us to get together in the future! I also met a wonderful student at Beijing University. She is coming to the University of Cincinnati this August and I am going to be her mentor! She is the hardest working, determined, and passionate person I have ever met and I cannot wait to help her around campus. We communicate daily though Facebook chat and WeChat about everything from academics to politics to fashion. I am so happy to have met her!

If you had the chance to study abroad again, what would you do differently?
If I could go back and do it all again, I would have done way more sightseeing of the cities. You learn the most about a city when you get lost and have to find your way back. Live in the moment and really indulge yourself in the Chinese culture. Don’t be afraid to meet people! Locals are just as ambitious, motivated and energetic to learn about you as you are to learn about them.