(Publisher’s note: Ian Clark emailed me from China, asking if I knew of any small businesses that were hiring. I thought such initiative should be rewarded, and I told him to write an article about himself and his experiences and that would be a way to get noticed on Indy Smallbiz by businesses who are hiring.)
My life has been filled with stories that, when summed up, can only be described as spectacular. Most of the opportunities that I have had are one-of-a-kind and I wouldn’t change any of them for the world.
I was born in May 1988, in Buffalo, New York, and adopted by my father, who was in the news business, and my mother, who was a Special Education teacher. At eight months of age I moved to Fort Myers, Florida, for my father’s job. Five short years later, I moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where I would live for the next ten years. While living there many exciting things would happen to me. For 18 months, starting at age six, I received chemotherapy for a benign brain tumor which left me legally blind. I made weekly visits to the wonderful Riley Children’s Hospital, in Indianapolis. Most would consider this a tragedy, but I took it in stride, making many friends, and I became so much a part of the people in Clinic B that I even had my own mailbox. As you read further, you will notice that my blindness has not kept me from doing anything that I wanted.
During that time, my father was the News Director at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, where I was a “fan favorite” around the news room. I was known and loved by all, in the hospital and news room. I still do this with everyone I meet, which is one of my best traits. I can make friends and acquaintances with people from the age of six to eighty-six.
Fast forward to 2004, and we move to Macomb, Illinois. My father has quit the news business, gone back to school, received two masters degrees from Indiana University, and has a job at Western Illinois University, as a Reference and Instructional Librarian/Professor.
After graduating from high school, I attended Western Illinois University for four and a half years, studying Communication and Public Relations. While there I did a seven month internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where I interacted with people of varying nationalities. I used the “Disney Magic” to make sure that each person left with a Disney smile. I treated them all with the respect that I would want, from everyday folks to celebrities.
My last semester of college, I decided I wanted to travel overseas for a year and teach English as a Foreign Language. I got my certification, and after graduation found a job in a “small Chinese town” of two million, Yinchuan. It is one of the fastest growing areas in China, evident by all the construction that is going on all around me as I write this.
During my senior year, another big event occurred. After having no previous contact with my birth mother, in September 2011, I discovered her on Facebook. After writing a rather mysterious letter to her, we made contact and began texting regularly. In December 2011, she and her husband attended my college graduation, making it one of the top days in my life. Later, meeting the rest of her family was an amazing opportunity. Until then, I had been an only child, and suddenly I had a little brother and little sister.
My work in China since July 2012 has involved teaching Chinese children the English language and American culture. I teach in a private school setting, and at “Number One Middle School” in my province, one of the top 50 middle schools in China. Classes may vary between two and 75 students, neither of which fazes me anymore. I have also done a lot of recruiting for my company, helping them to have the most students in the history of the school.
Me on the Great Wall of China, far right. February of 2013
My year will be completed this June and I will be returning home having learned much about foreign cultures, and how a culture determines the way business is conducted in that country.
Indianapolis has always been special to me, and upon my return in June, my goal is to find a job there. I would love to work for a small business in the area doing some sort of work with my Communication and or Public Relations major. My main concern is finding a good company that can use my talents, and the skills I have acquired through experience, in a way that matches their needs so that the company benefits from hiring me.
If any small businesses in the area are hiring, I can be reached at the following email address: email@example.com