For Hai Yan Chen, the close relationships between students and professors at Emory & Henry created an environment where she felt encouraged to ask questions, express opinions and share ideas. That experience boosted her poise and confidence, preparing her for success as a creative marketing designer at TEDS Inc., a Southwest Virginia-based company that produces talent management software solutions.
“At Emory & Henry, you are not just a number, and being part of that close community really helped me transition well into the workforce,” says Chen, who was born in Xiamen, China, and moved with her family to Southwest Virginia at age 8. “During my first few weeks at TEDS, I was invited to join the company’s Culture Change Team, which pitches ideas for improving the work culture. Because I’d participated in so many classroom discussions during college, I feel confident expressing my opinions and contributing to my team at work.”
Chen also had the opportunity to explore her interests and develop leadership skills through Emory & Henry’s wide variety of extra-curricular activities and service projects, such as serving as student coordinator for a reading program at the Glade Spring Library.
“Students wear multiple hats at Emory & Henry,” says Chen, who participated in study abroad opportunities in Germany, London and Rome. “That’s so similar to when you go into the workforce, where you’ll have multiple tasks associated with your job. Emory & Henry provides a platform for students to learn and grow in their own way. It was the best choice of my life.”
Hometown: Xiamen, China
Current City: Marion, Va.
Occupation: Creative marketing designer
Major: International Studies and Business
Extra-curricular Activities at Emory & Henry:
Chinese Tutor and Drill Instructor
Ampersand (E&H literary and arts magazine) Art Director
Student Coordinator for Reading Buddies Program at Glade Spring Library