An update from Illinois State University alum Michael Magaruh ’11, who graduated with a degree in international business with a minor in East Asian Studies.

Magaruh studied Mandarin Chinese at Illinois State. He also studied the language at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, during a study abroad program in 2008-2009.

After college, Magaruh worked for Beijing Language & Culture University Press, a Chinese University Press, as marketing and sales manager. He recently moved to Shanghai and is job-hunting.

“I would not have been able to work at a Chinese company in Chicago and I would not be able to find work easily in China if I had not learned Chinese,” he said. “There are many expats in Shanghai. However, being able to speak the language is a huge advantage for living and working here.

“At the time I chose to begin learning the Chinese language, I truly did not realize what I was getting myself into. Not only is the language and culture difficult to learn, but it also takes time to get really good at it. I did not give up and I would never go back. Learning this language has opened many doors of opportunity and given me the experience to be able to move to the other side of the world and do something that I could have never dreamed of if I had not learned the language.

“Try something new and you cannot imagine where it can take you!”