Shamessia Lee – Alumna Spotlight
Hometown: Olive Branch, MS
BA in Chinese, minor in Business Administration; BBA in Marketing (2019)
“The StarTalk summer program peaked my interest. From that point, I wanted to study Chinese and apply to the Chinese Flagship Program.”
Lee earned two degrees – Chinese and Marketing – because of the influence of her Dad, who works in sales. “When coupled with Chinese, I knew marketing would take me even further because studying abroad and learning how business works in China takes me to the next level.”
By the time she graduates she will have traveled to China three times – Shanghai and Harbin for two summers and the upcoming capstone year. “I became much more versatile and my language skills improved tremendously. I adhered to a language pledge, so I am proud that I survived in an unfamiliar place while only speaking Chinese. It was challenging, but I felt prepared due to the great teachers.”
Lee received a prestigious Boren Scholarship from the US Department of State for her capstone year at Nanjing University. “I hope to achieve professional-level proficiency, gain professional connections, and learn as much Chinese culture as I can absorb in a year.” She earned a Bachelors in Chinese also from Nanjing University.
After graduation, she joined FedEx Services where she was a Business Sales Inside Account Executive and the Senior Business Sales. Recently she joined Motive as a Commercial Sales Account Executive. Motive uses Internet of Things (IoT) hardware with AI-powered applications to automate vehicle management and equipment tracking, driver safety, compliance, maintenance, spend management and more.
Why study Chinese at UM?
“If you love to meet new people, love to travel, and love to learn about different cultures, studying a language is key. The faculty make sure students are prepared; I was surprised at how well-equipped I was when I traveled to China for the first time. It was easy for me to navigate and converse with local people. The skills I learned from the major also helped me with oral communication in English, too. The decision to study Chinese at UM was one of the best decisions I made.”