Jarvis Zhang is well suited to helping international students adjust to coming to school in the United States. His introduction to the US came five years ago, when he moved from Shenyang, a city in northeastern China, to attend high school in Minnesota.
He remembers his first year in the US as a difficult experience, including a long and cold Minnesotan winter. Now, having adjusted to life in the US and made the transition from high school to college at Drexel, he advises fellow international students on living and learning in a foreign place.
“Don’t get burned out,” the LeBow sophomore says. “It will pass, and it will get better.”
Zhang started on an ambitious path during his first year at LeBow, with a dual major in finance and business analytics and taking a junior-level photography class. (He later decided against pursuing a minor in photography in order to take on a third major in economics.)
Outside of class, he participated in the Business Learning Community (BLC), joined Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and began serving as an International Student Leader. He credits the BLC and the friends he made living in Myers Hall with making the adjustment to the college environment easier. “We all took classes together, worked together and picked out our classes together,” he says.
Friends from his hall also joined him after the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl win as he ventured into Center City to take pictures of the crowds and celebrations – a major highlight of his first year in Philadelphia.
He has continued on a high-achieving track heading into his sophomore year by participating in the STAR Scholars program. He’s working with Assistant Professor of Finance Greg Nini on empirical finance research, looking at quarterly reports and loan covenants from publicly traded companies to see their impacts on stock performance.
In navigating classes, research and the college environment in general, Zhang says, “don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible” – even if you’re considered about the language barrier – and he recommends the Undergraduate Student Services office as a resource.
“I kept close relationships with everyone on the third floor,” he says. “They were very helpful with all the questions I had.”