Having lived my entire life in California, I have always dreamed about expanding my horizons and experiencing a different lifestyle. As a teenager, online games and their model economies would spark my curiosity. This curiosity was the beginning of my interest in the driving force behind money and investments. As a senior year in high school, I was lucky to have my first professional position in charge of advertising, sales and customer service for a small company. In addition to professional experience, I also learned good business values and financial responsibility from working closely with the owner. Thus, when I was accepted to UC Riverside, my decision to be a Business Administration major seemed logical. But after reading a few books on investing and contemplating everything that my mother taught me about being smart with money, concentrating in Finance made perfect sense.
But my world still felt enclosed. I had vague ideas of where a degree in business could take me, but nothing concrete. My life was too narrow and "Californian". I wanted to see the world and how social interactions and motivations were different in a foreign culture. I needed to experience life away from home and meet new people from around the world to recognize what my career path would be. With these goals and dreams, I applied for the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) to study abroad in Hong Kong.
To say that I have discovered myself would be cliché and a terrible understatement. The Californian lifestyle is often stereotyped as laidback and carefree but I never realized the merit of this stereotype until I experienced life in Hong Kong. The hustle on the crowded streets of Hong Kong is nauseating compared to even the busiest areas of Los Angeles or San Francisco. As a product of the competitiveness of getting into college, the students of HKUST are insanely driven and literally, the best of Hong Kong and China. The fast paced lifestyle and difficult competition adds crushing...
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