Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Senior Abigail Hofmann, double major in economics and finance, received The Chinese Government Scholarship to study abroad in China. Hofmann received the scholarship through the University's Office of International Programs and was one of the few students in the nation awarded the honor.
Throughout her junior year, Hofmann studied at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The Stillman student was given the opportunity to enroll in graduate level classes, studying international economics and finance. Hofmann also took classes focusing on Chinese culture and Mandarin.
"Being an international student was a rewarding experience," said Hofmann. "The university and the Chinese people created a welcoming environment everywhere I went. It was an amazing opportunity to learn Mandarin first-hand, engage with Chinese culture daily and study business in a country with one of the largest economies in the world."
Seton Hall offers its students the opportunity to travel and explore several countries while simultaneously enrolling in classes that pertain to their major and career goals. By studying abroad, Hofmann was able to strengthen her business acumen and gain different insights into how business is conducted internationally. The experience also provided Hofmann with an expansive networking opportunity. Having met students from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, Hofmann was introduced to individuals of diverse backgrounds and given more cultural perspectives. On the weekends, Hofmann explored different cities throughout China with other international students, many with whom she still remains in contact.
After a semester abroad in China, Hofmann also traveled to France and enrolled in classes at Blaise Pascal University. She immersed herself in French culture by living with a French family in Pont-du-Chateau and joining a women's soccer league. Hofmann credits her French professors as being some of the most passionate educators, teaching Syrian refugees, whose student visas required strong academic performance.
"After six years of teaching international students overseas, mainly in Prague, I can say that the types of experiences students receive and the people they meet are simply amazing," said Professor Kurt Rotthoff from the Department of Economics and Legal Studies. "The perspectives, experiences and history these students bring to each class adds great value to the learning experience, including my own. Abigail is a great example of someone whose gained these valuable experiences from studying abroad."
Hofmann's undergraduate highlights extend beyond her study abroad experiences. As a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national scholastic honor society for graduate and undergraduate students in business and management, Hofmann remains committed to academic success. She also stays involved in the Financial Women's Association, which affords her opportunities to network with corporate executives like Janet Foutty, CEO of Deloitte.
Aside from her work as a student, Hofmann tutors younger students at Kumon. She also worked as a membership accounting intern at Kaiser Permanente throughout her sophomore and junior years where she identified department inefficiencies and recommended process improvements.
"The Stillman School of Business has given me several opportunities to excel. The semesters abroad, internships, networking events and individualized attention that the faculty dedicates to their students has certainly helped me in my studies," said Hofmann.
Upon graduation, Hofmann plans to dedicate a year to service in Rwanda, Africa assisting in clean water and humanitarian projects. Afterward, the Stillman student looks to work in the healthcare industry performing consulting work on cross functional issues.