Arien Atterberry, a soon-to-be Claflin University graduate, will literally be more than half a world away this fall teaching English to students in China.
He says the University has given him the vision to see far beyond his small hometown of Denmark, S.C., which has a give or take population of 3,000. Now, the marketing major is poised to live and work in the world’s most populous nation and later fulfill his dream of becoming a corporate lawyer.
“Claflin University has given me the opportunity to see the world,” said Atterberry, who studied abroad in Grenada, Spain during his matriculation. “Growing up in Denmark, there aren’t that many opportunities revealed to us. You definitely don’t have access to the other side of the world.”
Atterberry was hired by Aston English, a firm that specializes in teaching English to Chinese students, to work in Jinan, China (population 3.2 million). He said he’s excited about the opportunity and is ready to learn Chinese. He already speaks Spanish fluently.
“I’m most thrilled to see the Great Wall of China and visited all the landmarks in Asia,” he said.
The man with a 3.7 grade point average is a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College and the Phi Beta Lambda Business Fraternity. He works part-time in the solicitor’s office for the First Judicial Circuit of South Carolina and has volunteered at Kiddie College and the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce, among others.
After spending a year in China, Atterberry plans to attend law school and also obtain a Master of Business Administration degree. Georgetown University and New York University are his top choices. Ideally, Atterberry wants to be a corporate lawyer for a multinational company. Using the opportunities abroad he experienced while at Claflin, Atterberry views his future as a liaison between American and foreign branches of a Fortune 500 company.
“I learned at Claflin that you must seize every opportunity presented to you,” Atterberry said. “You must always work hard and do your best at everything because people are noticing.”