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International business grad wins Fulbright to teach English in Hong Kong

Emem Adjah, BA’09, will be heading to Hong Kong this August to teach English on a Fulbright scholarship, a job she says is an ideal steppingstone toward one of her dream careers: serving as a “cultural consultant.”

“I’m hoping to be an entrepreneur one day, to create a niche as an adviser who can help businesses abroad adapt to one another, to acclimate to one another’s cultures,” Adjah explains.

“China is a growing cosmopolitan culture, yet they need a bridge to better connect them to the rest of the world,” she says. “Many want to talk to foreigners, but their English is not up to par. I want to enhance their ability, to give them the tools to do it.”

The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Adjah grew up in Piscataway, N.J., a culturally rich area that helped shape her international career goals.

When she started at Northeastern, she hoped to work in France one day. But she quickly recognized that China is a bigger hub for business opportunity. “It’s a better fit,” she says. “Everybody in business is going global,” making China a part of every business’s market plans.

In 2007, Adjah studied at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for four months, and later completed a six-month co-op doing market research for the U.S. Embassy in Singapore. In May, she graduated with an international business degree with an emphasis on China.

All her preparation primed her for what lies ahead.

In August, she will begin working as a teaching assistant in English at the Hong Kong Institute of Education on the 11-month Fulbright she received this April.

Then Adjah will return to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to earn a master’s in social sciences, with an eye toward a career path in teaching or working as a cultural consultant.

“Going to China is a tremendous opportunity I had at Northeastern,” she says. “It has been a life-changing experience for me to be there, to learn about myself and to work in a very relaxed place.

“China has a wonderful ambience and environment, and I really want to go back to contribute somehow.”

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