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Meet Some of Our Flagship Alumni…

Hasani Arnold 杨洪杰

Class of 2019

English Literature & Chinese

My name is Hasani Arnold. Prior to entering Hunter, I self studied Mandarin for five years. I joined flagship just before the start of my freshman year in the 200-level course. Flagship made a prodigious impact on my Chinese language learning. I studied abroad at National Taiwan University during the summer of my freshman year and then studied abroad again in Nanjing and Shanghai for my capstone year. While in Shanghai, I interned at Shanghai Daily, the main newspaper publication in Shanghai, publishing articles about topical aspects of Chinese society. I currently work in immigration law as Chinese interpreter, assisting Chinese clients apply for asylum and gain citizenship in the United States. The role Flagship played in my linguistic achievements was invaluable, and I am very thankful for the amazing things I was fortunate to experience by being a member of the program.

Cara Chow 周嘉華

Class of 2017

Economics and Chinese

I grew up speaking Cantonese at home but never formally learned Chinese so when the opportunity to delve into my ancestral roots came by, I couldn't pass that up. Capstone year not only developed my Chinese language and cultural understanding to another level, but also opened up multiple paths that has led to me where I am today. During the internship phase of Capstone, I interned at the fitness platform formerly known as Guavapass in Shanghai. During the internship, I maintained and created amicable relationships with business partners, communicated with clients as the customer service associate, organized community events, created social media content, and scouted new upcoming fitness studios and wellness brands. Because of the opportunities that I was given during Capstone year, I’ve found my passion within the health and wellness industry as a fitness trainer and am now taking it a step further, pursuing a career in physical therapy.

Sean Coffey 贺忠祥

Class of 2015

Political Science and Chinese

double major in both political science with a concentration in international relations and Chinese at Hunter College. I had the opportunity to study abroad several times, completing a summer intensive program at National Taiwan University in Taipei, an 8-month Fulbright Group Fellowship in Xi’an, as well as my capstone year program. During my capstone year in China, I was able to directly enroll in graduate level courses at Nanjing University for a full semester before moving to Shanghai for the internship phase. I worked at ICW China, a boutique public relations firm that provided me the opportunity to work on assignment in Beijing as well as get my foot in the door in the world of client relations. Upon graduation, I returned to NYC and accepted a full time position as an advertising sales assistant at OUTFRONT Media, where I’ve since grown into the role of a National Sales Planner. In my current role, I’m responsible for responding and completing all requests for proposals originating from major media planning and buying agencies for campaigns across the US. I’m also tasked with managing a team of twelve as well as collaborating with in-house software developers and IT to provide usability and UI feedback during the development of proprietary sales systems.

Dora Gelerinter 蔣芳蓉

Class of 2022

English Linguistics & Rhetoric and Chinese

As a heritage Cantonese speaker who loved learning Spanish in high school, I joined Hunter’s Chinese Flagship Program simply wanting to acquire another language. The program has proved to be far more valuable than I imagined, both professionally and personally.

Flagship’s intensive curriculum helped me quickly become confident in Mandarin. I studied at Princeton in Beijing during the summer of 2019 and volunteered at Human Trafficking Intervention Court in Queens, performing intake and conducting interviews with Mandarin-speaking clients.

I spent my capstone year at National Yang-Ming Chiao Tung University in Taipei as a Boren scholar. I also completed a course in Taiwanese Criminal Justice and Ethics and an internship at Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association. These opportunities helped me bridge my goal of becoming an attorney with my Mandarin skills and interest in issues facing Taiwanese and Chinese communities.

After graduation, I served as a legal assistant and translator at Gershowitz P.C., assisting personal injury attorneys nationwide with translation work for over 100 Mandarin-speaking clients. As part of my Boren service, I am currently a Benefit Authorizer at the Social Security Administration. I will be attending Columbia Law School and hope to integrate my language skills into a career as an immigration or international attorney.

Jacob Kessler 孔伯希

Class of 2018

Political Science & Chinese

Jacob joined the Chinese Flagship program as a sophomore. As a political science major interested in international affairs, he knew that studying Chinese would help him understand China’s increasing role on the world stage. While at Hunter, he studied in Beijing twice - through Princeton in Beijing and Flagship’s capstone program at Beijing Union University. Using Macaulay’s Opportunities Fund, he also studied abroad for a semester in Taiwan. After graduating, he interned at China Labor Watch, researching labor rights and translating Chinese reports into English. He also worked at Aaron Halegua, PLLC, where he worked on a case representing Chinese workers who were trafficked to the US.

Peter Li 李健华

Class of 2016

Economics and Chinese

My name is Peter Li and I am a former Hunter Chinese Flagship student. I majored in economics, attended capstone year as part of the Spring 2015 cohort, and graduated in 2016. After graduation, I worked at a small import company where I was engaged in global trade and import/export logistics. I worked there for two years. I am currently working as an analyst at a consulting firm. The firm primarily operates in the export and international project finance realms, and often in structured finance as well. I support the structuring, arrangement, and administration of export and structured finance loans. I also prepare loan application packages for export credit agency-guaranteed financings; work with borrowers, lenders, and other parties to obtain documents and data; and prepare financial models. Overall, I would say that I have not used Chinese often in my professional career, especially for the first job. However, at my current job, we are pivoting our business development efforts towards China, and hope to work with more organizations in that region, so having Chinese language skills did make a difference during the hiring process.

Sophronia Ma 马璇琪

Class of 2018

Media Studies and Chinese

With the help of the Chinese Language Flagship program, I was able to improve my Mandarin reading, writing, listening, and speaking comprehension skillsets beyond what I imagined. During my Capstone year in China, I interned at Oriental DreamWorks (now Pearl Studios) where I worked on the Creative Development team to help produce multiple in-production animations with top Hollywood directors, producers, and writers. Not only did I learn about the Chinese film industry, but also grasped a better understanding of the global entertainment market. Prior to the completion of my internship, I was even offered a full time position at the company’s New York office.

Currently, I work on a large network episodic television series. With my deep understanding of Chinese culture and language, I am able to connect with clients and secure deals that benefit both our contacts as well as production.

Without the constant encouragement and assistance from the Directors, teachers, tutors, and fellow classmates in Chinese Flagship, I would not have been able to advance and continue utilizing my dual language proficiency to assist in the telling of more Asian stories on the silver screen.

Gabrielle Newman 黎嘉蓓

Class of 2017

Psychology and Chinese

I was raised in a multi-cultural family. Being exposed to several different cultures resulted in a fascination with language and global affairs. Flagship gave me the opportunity to study abroad not just once but three times. Having the opportunity to go abroad that many times allowed me to really learn and understand another language and culture different from my own. Those experiences also shaped who I am as a professional in addition to as a person. While completing my capstone year in Shanghai, I was offered full-time employment based on my language skills. I can honestly say that applying to the Chinese Flagship was the best decision I made during my time at Hunter.

Nicole Soo 苏换棋

Class of 2023

Biology & Chinese

Growing up in a household of 7, I was always at the center of things. Between family dinners celebrating Lunar New Years, to eavesdropping in on family dinner gossip, there was never a dull moment in my family. We were always the most boisterous group of people at every restaurant or buffet that spoke Cantonese, and I love that my parents instilled the importance of my speaking Cantonese at home. It was only until the Flagship Program that I decided learning Chinese is just another means to further build my relationship with my family. Both the Flagship Program at Hunter College and my Capstone year at Taiwan has helped me build a solid foundation in the Chinese Language and has given me the confidence to communicate with others in Chinese especially in the professional field.

Although it's difficult for me to find a direct correlation between my major in biomedical research and my major in the Chinese language, I find that I can be one of many who has the ability to relay the importance behind understanding and trusting science to the Asian community. As a Flushing native of NYC, it was very clear how the Coronavirus outbreak brought about dire consequences to the Asian community so relaying this message is one of my many goals.

Janet Tan 譚詠心

Class of 2023

Chinese & Economics

Since a young age, I’ve been interested in Chinese culture and language. To this day, I’m not really sure why. It may be because I did not grow up in a family that spoke Mandarin so I am always genuinely interested in learning about the differences between regions that spoke Mandarin and those that predominantly spoke Cantonese, or it might just be me wanting to learn about my roots. Regardless of which it might be (or that it is a combination of everything), I am grateful that Chinese Flagship was an option for me to learn and experience things that I would never have been able to had I stayed in New York my whole academic life and never went to Capstone. I believe the greatest rewards from my Flagship experience besides becoming proficient in Mandarin and gaining international experience is that I discovered more about my interests and possible goals in life from my Capstone year abroad. I know that with all the benefits I’ve gained and the inseparable memories I’ve made from joining Chinese Flagship, it has definitely become the best decision I've made as a college student.

Anabella Tupaj 佟安娜

Class of 2017

Gender Studies and Chinese

I am from a rural town in Maine, born to Italian and Polish ancestry. I came to Hunter College with limited knowledge of the Chinese language. Now, because of Hunter College’s Chinese Flagship program, I have reached near-native fluency in Mandarin, and have held paid positions as a translator and interpreter in both New York City and in China.

As a freelance translator, I have worked with American and Chinese companies, and have translated documents, contracts, social media posts, and user manuals into both Chinese and English. My proudest accomplishment is the work I did on a CNN docu-series, where I provided English subtitles for dozens of interviews conducted in Mandarin.

I am currently pursuing my graduate degree in Chinese Translation and Interpretation at Hunter College.

The Flagship program has helped me grow both professionally and personally, and I recommend it to any student at Hunter College looking to unlock their potential!