University Spotlight: Amherst College
Amherst College is an exclusively undergraduate institution known for offering a well-rounded and rigorous liberal arts education. Its student body is known to be an open-minded, curious, and hardworking group of scholars.
That’s why we were so excited to have an Amherst College student as a Summer 2017 Sage Corps fellow!
We’ve got the scoop here.
This past summer, McLean lived in Hong Kong working as an intern at IvySpace, an online platform that connects mentors from top colleges with students around the world, focusing especially on students in China.
McLean is currently a sophomore and plans to double major in philosophy and computer science.
What were some of your main responsibilities at IvySpace?
"My work entailed a little bit of a lot of things. I helped streamline some of the company’s internal operations and coordinated and input translations for their website and the application they are developing. I also tested the application, working on developing video content for it, helping plan its rollout, and consulting on some of its features and design."
Name one of your biggest wins of the summer.
"My coworker recommended this hole-in-the-wall restaurant to me. Finding it and then having their unbelievable pot stickers was definitely one of the biggest wins of my summer."
What's the most fun/ coolest thing you did with your cohort this summer?
"Hong Kong is an amazing city and I did so many cool things, but the highlight of my trip was probably taking the tram up to Victoria Peak. It’s really touristy, but the views are so worth it. If you ever go, I recommend walking as many trails and roads on the peak as you can. Do not miss the lookout point from the peak trail. Also, I’m sure it’s great during the day, but I think that going at night is the way to go."
What is the most valuable lesson/ most valuable skill you learned or strengthened during your internship?
"I gained a lot of experience working in a very flexible, fast-paced environment where priorities might shift multiple times in a day."
Why did you decide to participate in Sage Corps?
"The number one reason that I decided to participate in Sage Corps was to travel. I really wanted to spend my summer in parts of the world that I had never been to and this was the best way for me to do that. This was also an incredible opportunity to intern somewhere where I would be doing meaningful work; I didn’t want to be stuck pushing papers at a desk or being some nameless intern at a large corporation. Lastly, I wanted to get a taste of what it is like working in a startup and be able to put on my resume that I had international work experience."
What is the most valuable lesson/ most valuable skill you learned or strengthened while abroad in your city?
I became a lot better at communicating by pointing to things on menus! With so much to do and so little time to do it, I also became better at making plans to try to get everything in.
How has this experience helped you get closer to achieving your post-graduation/ career goals?
"I definitely know a lot more about what it takes to work in a startup and a small company, which I think gives me experience that I can use in whatever I do. I’ve seen just how much work, planning, and confidence the team around me needs to bring to what they do. I’ve seen how they navigate potential investors, new developments, and day-to-day operations and I know a lot more about what I would have to do if I chose to pursue entrepreneurship."
A huge thanks to McLean for sharing his insights and photos with us for this post! We wish him luck and success in his academic career at Amherst and beyond! We know he has a bright future ahead of him.
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