Transforming intellectual capital into entrepreneurship

Zhang Yang next to a tray of macaroons.

Audrey Zhang Yang ’13, Co-founder and Partner

Majors: History with a minor in Asian Studies

Awards: Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Advanced Degrees: MA in Comparative Literature, Dartmouth

Employer: Dear Deer Educational Consulting Company

As an educational consultant and business entrepreneur, I research innovative online platforms that utilize technology in effectively bridging educational resources.

I am drawn irresistibly to labor in the Publically Traded Partnership (or P2P) economy and have developed a passion for recruiting talent to provide valuable online and offline educational services. There are a number of advantages of working online, such as, realizing a livable work lifestyle and finding opportunities for innovation within new profit-generating points in the supply chain. It also provides full-time mothers with a flexible time schedule to work and stay connected with changes both inside and outside the home.

My academic experiences in the Asian Studies (AS) Program at Mount Holyoke College were shaped and honed through the rigorous and interdisciplinary training in critical thinking and research. During this process, my Asian heritage was respected, and my intellectual passion for understanding my own heritage encouraged. Through the interdisciplinary approach of the AS Program, I studied Asia through my courses in politics, history, literature, and anthropology.

I was dazzled by the fact that as small and intimate as Mt Holyoke was, it still harbored the most knowledgeable professors in multiple disciplines specializing in Asian studies. At a college dedicated to preserving its own history, I also enjoyed the opportunity to better understand the history of the college community and its alumnae through the religiously reading of early MHC alumnae’s corresponding letters from Asia to America in the MHC Archives. Indeed, it was a privilege to study at a small liberal arts women's college founded in 1837.

Mount Holyoke is the oldest of the Seven Sister colleges, and therefore, unparalleled in terms of library collections. The Asian Studies Program also sponsored me with the generous Barbara Yen Sun Prize fellowship  to travel to the Hoover Institute and collect primary resources. This unique experience was made possible because Mt Holyoke highly values women’s initiative and provided the community and resources to develop the intellectual capital to meet my aggressive intellectual growth targets.

In this rigorous academic environment, I disciplined and defined my will and desire as I studied for three years in the Asian Studies Program: growing intellectually and finding my passion through on-campus opportunities.

All the valuable lessons I have learned at Mount Holyoke transformed me into an inseparable, indispensable version of myself, and my experiences and connections continue to motivate me to thrive in many areas of my post-graduate life.