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Meet Our Students: Adrian Pang

August 9, 2017
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Majors: Sociology & Global Studies BA with Honors
Minor: Management

Why did you choose to major in Sociology? Was there a specific course, specific faculty member, soc research experience, study abroad, or other experience that helped you decide Soc was the major for you?

I was in the Prefectorial Board in high school and it was then I discovered my passion in the study of people. I have a knack of observing groups of people as well as how they act and behave. I always believe that the society is the most probable reason why they and I act and think in different ways. As I am more fond of themes like cultures, languages, politics from an outer perspective, and other large scale themes, sociology ticked all the boxes for my education and career path. I never turned back since.

What has been your favorite part of your experience with the department and within the major?

My favorite part is perhaps the hospitality and the sense of belonging ever since day the first day I stepped foot into the department. Everyone has been so warm, welcoming and caring. Of course, it took some extra steps to get to know more professors and administrative staffs in the office but everyone else also does so in return. The department also goes the distance to recognize academic achievements of soc major students by offering them different opportunities to be more involved in the department.

Do you have any study abroad, internship, and/or research experience with a soc faculty member, and if so, how has that experience shaped your future career goals as well as your understanding/applying of sociological concepts/what you’ve learned?

I will be working on my honors thesis on ocean pollution. This coupled with my travel experiences and a knack of observing the cultures of societies and communities, this will basically involve skills and knowledges honed throughout my fruitful years with the department.

I spent summer 2016 in Berlin for a study abroad session and travelled to a number of neighboring countries. It was truly an eye opening experience as the vast sociological differences across different borders have taught me so much more about diversity and cultures. I have also learned so much about the sustainabilities and environmental awareness in Europe as I was traveling. This will certainly contributes to my honor thesis.

Credit has to be given to the department and sociology as I’ve broadened my perspectives on many components and issues about the world. I’ve also discovered new passions and interests - learning new languages and traveling. I am able to communicate in five languages and comprehend two more but sociology has really instilled the passion to learn more languages as I realize languages are central to connecting cultures and different societies to unite a world of differences. Learning languages has since enabled me to travel and understand more about cultures, languages, norms and etc. of different countries. Travelling has also taught me to be less ethnocentric and be more emphatic about differences in people and societies. I am constantly on a roll in my quest to travel all countries in the world.

How does a major in sociology help you reach your post graduation goals?

I’m planning to go to grad school to further my studies in sociology in the environmental theme. This will be built on all I’ve gained through my undergraduate career to  contribute back to the community, society and most importantly sociology.

What advice would you give to someone who’s interested in declaring a sociology major?

Go talk to Bobby! He’ll make you turn your interests in sociology into a reality. Also, persist over the first few semesters as the best portions of the major usually happen halfway through the major.

Have you worked part-time/full time while in school, and if so, how has balancing work and school impacted your path to degree completion (enriched your program of study, delayed time to degree completion, etc.)?

I have been an undergraduate TA for two semesters as well as a Research Assistant at the MPC. They are great experiences and resume builders that exposed me more to different components in sociology. In addition, these experiences  have also added new dimensions to my study to make it more holistic. My time as a TA has also served as financial supports that not many undergrads at the U get to benefit from outside of sociology!