BA in History

Zi Yang, 2014

Zi Yang

What was your academic path?

I earned a B.A. from Mason with a double major in History and  Global Affairs and then an M.A. in Asian Studies from Georgetown University. 

What work are you doing now?

Senior Analyst at China Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. My research focuses on China’s military. 

What do you like about it?

Academic freedom and institutional support. More importantly, I am doing what I love. Not to mention Singapore is an amazing place to live, especially for young professionals. 

How did your degree from Mason prepare you to do this work?

My degree from Mason taught me how to think outside the box and be bold when it comes to asking questions. Mason’s Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research funded several of my research projects. These experiments prepared me for greater things.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

Believe in yourself. Work hard towards your goal. Don’t be afraid to challenge your established ideas. The more you temper yourself, the better. There are ups and downs in life, but always be firm in your commitment. Check your ego when life’s heading uphill. When things are in a slump, make sure you keep pushing. There are wonderful people everywhere but also not very kind ones. Learn how to read people and manage relations. Everything takes time, hard work, and faith.