MIDWEST REGION PROFILE
Dave Fisher '10
MBA Candidate, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
“Choosing HWS was the easiest decision I've ever made. For me it was all about getting the strong liberal arts focus and intimate size that HWS is known for. While I figured I would major in French, Professor of Political Science Tom Millington's "Intro to International Relations" course piqued my interest in exploring global affairs. At the same time, I had started taking Mandarin Chinese with Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures Jinghao Zhou, which focused my interests further on East Asia. These classes motivated my two majors and eventually, my career choice.
While at HWS, I gained experience through study abroad and through several internships. In the summer after my sophomore year, I was fortunate to win the Salisbury International Internship Stipend, which allowed me to intern with the U.S. Department of Commerce at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. In my junior year, I spent a semester abroad at Peking University in Beijing, studying Chinese language and culture. The following summer, I interned with the Truman National Security Project in Washington, D.C. Finally, in my senior spring, I interned at Merrill Lynch in Rochester. My internship and abroad opportunities were equally valuable to my on-campus coursework. These experiences allowed me to explore new fields, zero in further on my interests, and rule out certain career paths.
As I started looking into feasible post-grad options, I knew I was looking for a global company that would provide me the opportunity to travel abroad and use my international skillset gained at HWS. Because of some research and a miraculously lucky cold call, I landed an offer with Asia Quality Focus, based in Hong Kong. I took the offer which made me the only employee in North America responsible for developing business in this market. Through three years with AQF, I was able to take on significant responsibility and become a leader in this rapidly growing company. The interdisciplinary approach at HWS made me ready and able to solve a myriad of diverse problems as they arose each day. My Chinese language and cultural knowledge made me better able to work with my Chinese teammates, and better able to advise my diverse clientele.
My time at AQF led me to understand my passion for advising clients, problem solving and assisting companies expanding into Asia. With this in mind, I decided an MBA would be a necessary next step. I decided to attend Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, where I am focusing on strategy and international business. After I graduate, I hope to work for a global management consulting firm, eventually advising clients on their strategies within emerging Asian markets.
The HWS experience has been fundamental to my development. Beyond the internship, abroad and classroom experiences, I have continued to be impressed by the alum network which has helped me greatly in discussing career and graduate school options. These relationships, as well as relationships made on campus, in the classroom and in the fraternity house, continue to serve as my most important links. No matter where I end up, I can say with confidence that HWS will always be a major part of me.”