Video: Meet Chinese Major Jack McKenna

Author: Todd Boruff

“If you want to set yourself apart in anything you do—whether it’s a job, whether it’s applying to graduate school, whether it’s meeting a new person—I say learn a language,” said Jack McKenna ’15, a Chinese major in the College of Arts and Letters.

As a major in Chinese at Notre Dame, students learn the language of the world’s most populous country. In addition to language study, students engage with the culture and literature of China, with topics ranging from religious traditions to international relations.

McKenna took advantage of two study abroad opportunities, which he said helped solidify his language fundamentals. He interned with a small investment firm in Shanghai during the summer after his freshman year, and then returned to Shanghai the summer after his sophomore year with funding from the Summer Language Abroad grant from the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures. The experiences helped him springboard his language abilities to a near-fluent level.

After graduation, McKenna accepted a position with Prescient Edge, a security and defense contractor in Washington, D.C.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that I came to Notre Dame,” said McKenna, who also majored in political science. “I’m just so glad that I had the chance to learn from the best and move my life in a direction that I’m really proud of.”

You can also watch this video on YouTube.

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Originally published by Todd Boruff at on September 08, 2015.