Beginning of something big

Hey guys! I’ve had a blast reading everyone’s blog posts as I was frantically still packing and clearing out of campus housing. Finally, after 3 whole days of travelling, I have arrived in Madurai ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

My name is Jane Chen and I am a rising junior studying chemistry and operations management in the College or Arts and Sciences and Wharton.  I was born in Hangzhou, China and moved to Toronto, Canada with my parents when I was 6. Ever since then, I’ve had the amazing privilege of calling myself a Canadian. When it comes to career and interest, I have always been sort of all over the place, jumping from design, to engineering, to international relations and finally to where I am right now, at the intersection of science and business. I am super ecstatic to be travelling to the reverent city of Madurai with Abhi and Zach this summer, where I will be working alongside impressive individuals from around the world at Aravind Eyes Care Systems!

I am approaching India and this internship in two major perspectives. Coming from the standpoint of an interdisciplinary major between medical science and business operations, I am fascinated by the day-to-day efficiency of Aravind while working towards their mission of eliminating blindness. I am extremely interested in thinking about how businesses run and the models that contribute to operational efficiency, such as in Aravind’s case. I hope to be able to use this internship to learn more about the successful model employed in India and to bring them back with me to America. At the same time, I love the cause that Aravind stands for, exemplifying the symbiotic relationship between business and societal value while also addressing the underlying cause for the delay in India’s economic developments. Health care is crucial to a society’s wellbeing and international growth. I admire Aravind’s position: it addresses the microcosmic issue of blindness that can be enlarged to generate large effects on macrocosmic economic growth. I am so thrilled to be able to explore both facets of Aravind’s model that interest me intellectually. Furthermore, I am drawn towards India because of its exotic and religious roots. As cheesy as it sounds, I am looking for a bit of soul-searching. The stresses and pressures of college have often raised doubts and uncertainties at different points in my life. Part of me is hoping for a chance to make some important discoveries about myself and my relation to others on a global scale. I am so privileged to be a Penn student yet I often feel constrained by some of the ideals that the university fosters in its students. I hope that this summer will be an eventful one for my academic growth, but more importantly, for my personal and spiritual development as well. See you in less than 24 hours India!

On a side note, I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting Cambodia over winter break. This was the trip that first opened my eyes to the beauties of Hindu temples and the colourfulness that a foreign country can add to my life. This is a picture that my mom took of me with a few of the nuns that I met at Angkor Wat.


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About jane21290

My name is Jane Chen. I was born in Hangzhou, China, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. I just graduated from Penn in May 2016 with majors in chemistry and business operations and a minor in religious studies. Check out my posts on my journey to the exotic country of India (Summer 2014)!