Although I do not normally see my nationality (half Chinese/half White) as a barrier between my academic or work life, I did feel somewhat ostracized as I first started my internship. I come from a relatively diverse area of California, in which diversity in my elementary and high school was completely normal. The University of Michigan has also a relatively varied population, so I noticed the lack of diversity within my office relatively quickly. My coworkers are all white, and although I consider myself less associated with the Asian community, I felt slightly uncomfortable that I was the most ethnically diverse person in the room. I am quite unfamiliar with the state of Michigan, given that I lived in California for the past twenty years, but I was not expecting a lack of diversity within working in an office in Detroit. This experience made me want to embrace my nationalities in interesting ways, and I am glad that I was able to realize how being in a more diverse environment makes me more comfortable. Prior to my internship, I never really thought about how diversity affects working and social situations. However, in the future I hope to work in a more racially represented community that allows more communities to come together and create new ideas. I believe that it is more difficult to generate new ideas if everyone is from the same area, and has had similar experiences. This internship made me realize how innovation is really driven by diversity within humans- whether it is culturally, racially, socially or by other means of different experiences.
- Blog #3: Professional Identity
- Blog Post #5: Overcoming Obstacles