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In 2012, as I entered my first business journalism course at Arizona State University (ASU), I had no idea that the class would lead me to where I am today: a Hinrich Global Trade Leader scholar pursuing a Master’s degree in Global Business Journalism at one of the most prestigious universities in China and a research assistant focusing on foreign direct investment in China.

Kyger Lauren - ASU - Hinrich scholar 1
Reporting live business news for Cronkite Newswatch, the award-winning 30-minute nightly newscast produced by students of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

In 2012, as I entered my first business journalism course at Arizona State University (ASU), I had no idea that the class would lead me to where I am today: a Hinrich Global Trade Leader scholar pursuing a Master’s degree in Global Business Journalism at one of the most prestigious universities in China and a research assistant focusing on foreign direct investment in China.

My business journalism studies at ASU sparked a passion within me that I did not know had previously existed. I learned how to use numbers to tell a compelling story, dissect financial documents and explain complicated concepts in an easy to understand manner. Those basic skills continue to benefit me to this day.

Most importantly, the courses taught me how truly interconnected our world is by trade, economics and business. I became entranced with the idea of dissecting the world’s complex business issues and making the information comprehensible and interesting for everyone.

Gaining experience in Washington, D.C.

After graduating from ASU, I moved to Washington, D.C. to become the finance reporting intern at the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization.

Kyger Lauren - ASU - Hinrich scholar 2
Working as the finance reporting intern for the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization in Washington, D.C.

Not only was I able to write and research stories for what would become an award-winning investigative series on the global financial crisis; but most importantly, I was able to absorb priceless knowledge from experienced colleagues and develop a true understanding of what it takes to become a successful investigative reporter and researcher.

Developing global trade research skills

Following my experience at the Center for Public Integrity, I began working for the Hinrich Foundation as a researcher. My task was to research, write and edit country-specific import information on countries such as the Philippines, India, Nepal, Vietnam and Myanmar.

The topics I researched included foreign trade policy, banking and finance, export documentation, trade support services, among others. I further developed my research skills in this position, utilizing hundreds of sources to compile information, develop an understanding of the trade environment in these diverse nations, and report that information in a clear and concise manner.

Studying global business journalism in China

Following my work as a researcher for the Hinrich Foundation, I moved to Beijing, China to begin my Hinrich Global Trade Fellowship at Tsinghua University. In the Global Business Journalism program, I took courses focusing on economics and accounting, data mining, intercultural communication, data journalism and business news writing and editing.

Kyger Lauren - Hinrich scholar 3
Myself and classmates from the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University, representing over a dozen nations from around the world including Belarus, Cameroon, Iran, France, Nepal and South Korea among others.

The courses were unique in their focus on China and its relationship with the rest of the world through trade and business. My classes included students from all over the world, further helping me develop a global perspective.

Honing research shills as an intern and research assistant

These past experiences have all led me to where I am today: writing my Master’s thesis on the portrayal of China’s outward foreign direct investment in the Chinese and western media, as well as working as an intern and research assistant to Stephen Olson, a Hinrich Foundation research consultant.

My internship focuses centrally on foreign direct investment in China. However, my research has spanned a number of important topics, including China’s recent currency devaluation, the state of multinational corporations conducting business in China, and the impact of recent policy changes on international businesses invested in China. Through this opportunity, I have truly developed a unique understanding about the Chinese economy and its impact on the rest of the world.

A ‘priceless’ combination of skills and experiences

From the moment I entered in my first business journalism class at ASU in 2012, my life has been transformed by a passion for business, journalism and research.

Through my studies at ASU and Tsinghua University, as well as opportunities with the Hinrich Foundation, I have been able to develop an understanding of the importance of global trade while continually honing my skills as a journalist and researcher. I consider the knowledge I have gained from these experiences to be priceless, which in the world of business, is quite rare.

About the author – Kyger Lauren

Kyger Lauren - about the author

Lauren Kyger, a Hinrich Global Trade Leader scholar from US, she is a Master’s student at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China studying Global Business Journalism. She is an avid sports fan, business news nerd, Chinese language nut, travel fanatic, and mac n’ cheese enthusiast.