EALC alumnus earns fellowships for graduate study in China

EALC alumnus Brock Mullen (BSBA ‘23) earned two fellowships to study at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China before beginning his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

While an undergraduate student, Brock Mullen (known by his classmates and teachers as 博学 bó xué, translated as “erudite”) was an active member of the East Asian Languages and Cultures department. Although he was an Olin Business School student with a primary major in Marketing, Brock had a second major in Chinese Language & Culture. He enjoyed taking classes across disciplines, including many Chinese literature, Chinese history, and Mandarin language courses. Brock hoped to study abroad in China, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was unable to while he was an undergraduate student. However, he found a graduate program at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC) that was a perfect fit for his interests. Brock graduated from WashU in May 2023 magna cum laude with Distinction in EALC. Now, he is living in Nanjing, China as a student at the HNC.

Brock earned both the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Diversity Fellowship and the HNC 35th Anniversary Fellowship to study at the HNC. The HNC is a unique partnership between SAIS and Nanjing University, established as the first Sino-U.S. university partnership in China. The HNC offers graduate-level international relations coursework to American and Chinese students in both English and Mandarin. Brock is focusing his studies on international economics, taking classes such as Chinese Business Law, Comparative U.S.-China Economics, and International Organizations.

The program also offers an incredible opportunity for peer-to-peer cultural and language exchange. Brock has learned to play mahjong, taught his classmates about American culture, ordered an enormous number of cheap products from Taobao (essentially the Chinese version of Amazon), and ordered even more food and fresh fruit 外卖 (wài mài – “delivery/takeout”). Outside the classroom, Brock is enjoying living in China and traveling all over the country — he’s already been to 11 different provinces in the past few months. Many of his travel destinations have been inspired by places he learned about in his EALC classes.

Brock plans to apply his Chinese knowledge and skills to a career in international business consulting. He will begin work in fall 2024 as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company, a leading global management consulting firm. Brock originally intended to start this job immediately upon graduation from WashU, but McKinsey & Co. allowed him to defer his job start date to attend the HNC. His experiences in the WashU EALC department and at the HNC are a great way to prepare for his career goals. Brock would like to thank the incredible EALC faculty for their dedication and support, as they always inspired him and pushed him to succeed.