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Alumni Perspectives

Tom Ashforth Photo

Tom Ashforth '18

PROGRAM FOCUS: JAPAN

 

"To me, East Asian Studies has never been more important. I have been asked during my time at Stanford: “why is this kind of academic study important?” or “but how does this apply to the real world?”. I have always thought that this sort of area studies, particularly of such an important region in today’s world, underpins so much, be it in academia or the working world. If a company or government agency is doing business or cooperating with East Asia, it needs those who have a clear insight into and knowledge of the different cultural workings or languages at play. Equally, if a robotics engineer professor is doing very specific scientific research, academic centers like CEAS facilitate these cross-departmental connections and relationships so that they are able to tap into Asian academic perspectives through collaboration. Ultimately, I believe that the study of this field provides the ideal foundation to go out into the world as an adaptable professional with a unique perspective, or indeed achieve success in academia."

Photo of Courtney Buie

Courtney Buie '16

CURRENT POSITION:  Associate, First round capital

PROGRAM FOCUS: china

 

What advice would you share with new CEAS M.A. students?

"Explore what the entire university has to offer.  The beauty of the CEAS master's program is that it gives you the flexibility to take classes in multiple departments while still going deep in one functional area through thesis research."

Andrew Gee Photo

Andrew Gee '15

Current position:  dIRECTOR, aLBRIGHT sTONEBRIDGE gROUP

Program focus: east asia

 

"There is no better place to study Asian foreign policy and political economy than at Stanford. Taking advantage of the highly-interdisciplinary nature of the M.A. program at CEAS, I was fortunate to take not only advanced foreign language and area studies courses, but also extremely useful courses at the law school, GSB, and IPS program—all of which prepared me well for my recent career growth and current role managing Asia engagements at a premier boutique consultancy that advises Fortune 100 firms on business strategy and regulatory challenges in emerging markets worldwide. In particular, the intensive foreign policy seminars I took with Condoleezza Rice, Anja Manuel, Alice Miller, Michael Armacost, and Thomas Fingar, pushed me to my intellectual limits, and forced me to develop razor-sharp critical and analytical thinking, reading, and writing skills that I now use daily in my work. Undoubtedly, my two years at Stanford offered unmatched intellectual rigor and reward—and provided far more gifts than I had ever anticipated, not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but also in terms of a global network and institutional brand name that continually open doors."

 

 

Minmin Zhang Photo

Minmin Zhang '15

current position:  mba scholar at university of oxford- said business school

Program Focus: China

 

"The interdisciplinary nature of the program has broadened my perspectives.  The opportunities of taking classes and conversing with world experts in various fields on a daily basis were invaluable in helping me grown intellectually and professionally.  I am also indebted to the amazing CEAS staff who helped and supported me throughout this journey."

Rushton Hurley '97

Current position:  executive director of educational nonprofit & author

program focus: Japan

 

What advice would you share with new CEAS M.A. students?  

"You're connecting with wildly interesting people who will make amazing things happen across the Pacific Rim and beyond- get to know them and stay in touch!"

 

Natalie Rodriguez '94

current position:  vice president, associate general counsel, warner bros. pictures

program focus: East asia

 

How did the CEAS M.A. degree impact your career trajectory?

"After taking a class on Hong Kong Film Cinema, I realized that I really wanted to work in the entertainment industry.  I just didn't know it at the time!"