Summer Spotlight: Justin Yannix

"My summer experience is giving me the best of both worlds."
Postcards from UChicago
Photo by: 
Zola Yi, College Visual Media Editor, Class of 2020

UChicago students are spending their summers across the city, country, and globe this summer. Whether working at paid internships or learning new languages, students use the summer to complement the learning they do in the classroom during the academic year. We’re featuring students and their opportunities throughout the summer!

Name: Justin Yannix

Year: Second

Major and Minor: Economics and East Asian Languages and Culture

Internship: Foreign Language Acquisition Grant for Advanced Mandarin at Renmin University; and Private Equity Intern, Ocean Trail Partners

How did you find your summer opportunity?

I found out about the Foreign Language Acquisition Grant and the Chicago in Beijing program during a Study Abroad information session at the beginning of fall quarter, and immediately knew that I wanted to apply.

Justin YannixFor my internship, I saw a posting on Handshake and applied, then personally emailed the principal of the fund before being hired as an intern. Currently, since I am in Beijing, I am doing remote work for the principal, and once I return from Beijing I will begin working for him in person at his office in Boston.

As a Chinese-American who has spent very little time in China in the past, spending extended time in Beijing to both learn Chinese and explore my culture and roots has been one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. Due to the Chicago in Beijing program's immersive and intensive learning environment, I can feel my language abilities improving day-by-day, and I am incredibly fortunate to be in a city with such rich history and culture. So far, the highlight of the summer has been going to the Great Wall. Its size and range is truly unfathomable, and the views from the wall's towers are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

How does your summer opportunity contribute to your academic experience in the College?

My summer experience is giving me the best of both worlds. On one hand, I am learning the language of my ancestors and immersing myself in Chinese culture, so the Chicago in Beijing has helped me solidify my passion for Chinese language and culture and has encouraged me to continue my studies when I return to campus. On the other hand, through my internship at Ocean Trail Partners, I am getting a fantastic introduction to a potential future career field and am gaining very valuable practical experience to supplement the critical thinking and theoretical educational background that UChicago provides.