Student Profile: Jennifer Pearl
Jennifer Pearl graduated from Indiana University in December 2010 with Masters Degrees in East Asian Studies and Public Affairs. While at IU Jen became involved with the IU Bloomington Professional Council which advocated for policies and conduct programs that support professional staff. She has been a member since 2013 and even served as President from 2014-2015. She also served as a volunteer instructor helping to teach Mandarin Chinese to youth in the Bloomington area.
While at IU, Jen’s research focused on a variety of topics pertaining to public policy in China including electricity usage, income inequality, and the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. Her master’s thesis, titled “Bioga Toilets: Flush with Opportunity in China?,” examined the impact of bioga toilets on public health in China and concluded that human an animal waste can be used in a variety of ways that have a positive impact on both health and the environment. She hoped that by studying public affairs and policy she would be able to build bridges across cultures to help advance global health, education, and policy and she has done just that and is currently pursuing her passion of bringing different groups together to help create common visions for the future and develop new strategies for implementation in the real world.
Jen is currently living in Beijing, China and working as a Senior Consultant at North Head, an independent strategic communications and public affairs consultancy focused primarily on China. At North Head, she helps clients to better understand Chinese public policies and how they affect the business world. She began working at North Head in July 2015 and is thrilled with her new position!
Looking back on her education Jen says that it was a series of unforeseen events that led her to where she is today. Prior to attending IU she had taken evening classes to study Chinese but did not plan on taking on two degrees when she arrived at IU. She received a FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Scholarship to continue studying Chinese which she says changed her life. She was able to continue to study Chinese and inspired her to undertake the Masters of East Asian Studies in addition to her Masters of Public Administration and it was the combination of both that led her to where she is today!
A little more than five years removed from graduation Jen’s future remains wide open. She loves living and working in Beijing and though she does not currently have any plans to pursue a JD or PhD she says that she has a feeling she is not done with her education. However, any potential future education will have to help her to better reach her goals of bridging the gaps between different groups of people and advancing global health and education. For the time being she intends to continue her focus on China and striving to better understand the intricate policies that impact daily life and business in China.
EASC looks forward to keeping up with Jen’s future work and would like to extend our congratulations on her new position at North Head!