Wednesday, May 31, 2017

HNC Alumni Profile: Andrew Anderson-Sprecher

Andrew Anderson-Sprecher, HNC Certificate 2006 and SAIS MA 2007, reflects back on his time at the HNC and his experience working for the American Institute in Taiwan. 

Tell us about your current role.
I am currently serving as the Acting Agricultural Section Chief at the American Institute in Taiwan.

How did your experience at the HNC prepare you for this work?
My experience at HNC prepared me for my work by giving me an in-depth understanding of China's economy and politics and rock solid Chinese language skills.   This was invaluable in helping me get job offers and making me successful in the jobs I took. 

What was your most memorable moment when you were at the HNC?
My most memorable experience was getting to see a Chinese court room as part of my judicial systems class.  It was a remarkable education on how China's legal system works.

What advice would you give for current or future students at the HNC?

Focus on building expertise rather than on the specific job you want.  There are great opportunities to work on (and in) China in the government, private sector, NGOs, and academia.  Learn the language well, but don't rely on that by itself to get a job.  You need subject matter expertise and strong language skills.