Jean-Pierre Hill: Act globally, act locally.
You never know where a Willamette education will lead you. One semester you might be in class, analyzing the efforts of small Chinese businesses to establish a foothold in their communities; the next semester you might be in China, helping them establish a niche in the global economy.
For senior Jean-Pierre Hill, studying in China was the latest in a series of undergraduate experiences that have changed his life. When Hill came here, he thought he'd major in computer science and minor in physics. Now he's majoring in economics and minoring in Chinese and math. "My professors have had a profound impact on how I see myself in the world, and the liberal arts education has just expanded my knowledge," says Hill. "I realize now that the way I saw the world isn't the way the world is - especially living in the U.S., where I don't have to worry about where my next meal is coming from."
Hill's trip to China has laid the groundwork for his short-term goal of assisting Chinese businesses in special economic zones. He'd like to work for the Peace Corps, or possibly a bank. "I want to be in China so that 30 years from now, if and when China is developing, I can tell my children that I was there, that I saw that," says Hill. "I want to be an economic veteran, if you will."
After spending a couple of years in China, Hill plans to pursue a master's degree or a Ph.D. in economics at a top-tier business school. He wants to examine the processes that have led to widespread poverty and unemployment in the U.S. - and then he wants to work for a government agency that can address those issues at the policymaking level. Serving as an advocate for the nation's poor is Hill's way of taking our motto, 'Not unto ourselves alone are we born,' and putting it into practice.
"The Willamette mission statement - I really think that it's at the heart of everything we do," says Hill. "It's not just to get a piece of paper or to make us more employable, but to really affect the world. I think the students on this campus - that's what they do."