CSUF Entrepreneur Success Story: Jennifer Barber '14

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CSUF Entrepreneurship alum Jennifer Barber ’14 has taken her many entrepreneurial skills to China for a year to teach English to Chinese children

It has been a little under five months since I took my final steps as an undergraduate student at CSUF. The first word that comes to mind when I think of my experience as a Titan is “perfect”. Now, I certainly don’t mean that in a conventional way; we all know that if you have any fun at all, there are some nights where you and “perfect” couldn’t be bigger strangers. By “perfect” I mean that, because of that time, I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now.

Where does a twenty-two year old college graduate with an entrepreneurship degree go? I went to Beijing, China to teach English for a year. You might ask, “Why aren’t you applying to big companies at home or starting your own business?” I would say, “Who says I have to do it now?”

I have a couple of reasons why I chose China. First, I like to be a little unconventional; I don’t like to feel “comfortable” for too long. Second, my passion is to serve others.

It has officially been a month since I moved from sunny Southern California to this booming metropolis of over twenty-one million people. The first several days I ate instant ramen because I couldn’t order food (I don’t speak Mandarin at all). The first week I got on the wrong subway or bus at least once a day. Yesterday, the smog got so bad that they call it an “air apocalypse”. I also had serious doubts that I would be able to teach a two hour class of four year olds and keep them from running loose or crying their eyes out.

What have I learned so far? We all adapt to our habitats.

Despite the initial culture shock, Beijing has been nothing short of amazing. Here, you can find beautiful parks nestled amongst giant skyscrapers. Ancient palaces are just a short walk from the subway station. On Sundays, I wake up to the sound of beautiful Chinese instrumentals and little old ladies doing tai chi in my courtyard.

As for the food, I can now successfully order a dish with a few simple phrases. I’m a pro at navigating the subway system and can get from point A to point B without getting lost. Although the smog holds its presence, there are some days where the sky could not be more blue and beautiful. Finally, teaching is not so scary. In fact, there is nothing more precious than a student giving you a high-five after they have given you the right answer.

I have no idea what to expect in the coming year, but I couldn’t be more excited. While CSUF taught me how to be a business professional, it, more importantly, taught me to also be a well-rounded individual and a citizen of the world. Because of that, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Many thanks to Dr. Atul Teckchandani for providing us with this post written by Ms. Barber.

If you are interested in learning about how you can study Entrepreneurship and make a difference in the world like Jennifer please head on over to our website to learn what it takes to matriculate at CSUF.

On the other hand, if you have already completed your schooling and you are interested in aiding the development of student-entrepreneurs like Jennifer please get in touch with us by sending an email to csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu and we will be happy to explain how you can become a mentor in our classrooms, a guest speaker and how you can become a client of our Student-led Business Consulting Program, which provides our student-entrepreneurs with invaluable real-life experience and our clients with cutting-edge insights into how they can improve their business in a number of areas.

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