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“I’m trying not to limit myself to opportunities that are out there. I’ve applied to jobs with Tesla, Hess, wind companies, as well jobs in the financial sector. I may not get my dream job right away, but if I work hard, somewhere down the line, I will get to where I want to be.”
Zhi Yang Chan, senior, energy economics and finance

University Communications

Senior Spotlight: Zhi Yang Chan

Chan embraces every opportunity

MINOT, N.D. – There is no such thing as small talk with Minot State University senior Zhi Yang Chan.

A typical conversation may start with the weather but then careens into the threat climate change poses to Earth, followed by the need for countries to seize on the promise of renewable energies, and finally why Elon Musk is perhaps the greatest CEO around.

Chan is all about big ideas, which is fitting given his history of making big choices. Originally from Ipoh, Malaysia, Chan was planning to study engineering in Australia but opted to attend Minot State instead after discovering it offered an energy economics and finance major. 

“I believe in global warning, and energy is a huge part of that equation,” Chan said. “The interplay of science, business, and politics led me to choose my field of study.”

The journey from tropical Malaysia to the North Dakota plains proved to be a culture shock for Chan at first, but he quickly submerged himself in his academics and applied for a part-time job to help pay his tuition. He started by working at the front desk in the housing office, then became a residential assistant, and finally was named resident hall director. Chan then took a second job working for the Office of Student Activities.

“It was the best decision I made during my time here,” Chan said of his two jobs. “I learned a lot and had a lot of fun, but ultimately it was about the connections I made.”

Now faced with the prospect of life outside MSU, Chan admits he doesn’t have a clear path to his next destination, wherever that may be.

“As an international student it’s a very nervous time because you don’t know what your future holds,” Chan said.

After graduation, Chan will travel to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New York City while continuing to apply for his first post-collegiate job.

“I’m trying not to limit myself to opportunities that are out there,” Chan said. “I’ve applied to jobs with Tesla, Hess, wind companies, as well jobs in the financial sector.

“I may not get my dream job right away, but if I work hard, somewhere down the line, I will get to where I want to be.”

ABOUT MINOT STATE UNIVERSITY
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/03/18



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