Harrison Pan '20 Completes 3rd Internship Abroad
Haiti one summer, Guatemala the next, and now Peru.
Where will Hao “Harrison” Pan’s ’20 interests take him next?
Combining his passion for public health, economics and China’s influence in the world, Harrison has participated in three impressive internships while on Wilbraham & Monson Academy summer break.
After time in Haiti (2017) and Guatemala (2018), and using China’s global One Belt One Road initiative as his guide, Harrison spent three weeks this summer interning with a Chinese mining company in the coastal town of Marcona, Peru.
Harrison on why he focused on economics: “I’m interested in public health, of course. But I started thinking, ‘How can I use this interest to benefit more people and generate more positive energy in the world. After I went to so many countries I began to feel a strong influence. Medicine is very good and cures a lot of diseases, (but) it’s really economic well-being that can help more lives. If you’re a doctor, how many people can you save during the course of your career? Maybe thousands; maybe 10,000, right? But if you’re a policy maker, your decision can change the lives of millions or billions of people, on the positive end, of course.”
Harrison on what he learned in Peru: “It was more about learning than working, I’d say. But it was very interesting for me because I learned about the local economy. China’s social structure is so much different than Latin American countries. That sometimes creates conflict with cultures. I think that’s an interesting thing to see. Sometimes you see criticism against Chinese countries in Latin American areas, and sometimes those criticisms aren’t accurate if you go in there, especially controversial topics from both ways.”
Harrison on global economics: “I didn’t work in the mine. But I learned how Chinese, European and lots of American mindsets can have conflict with each other in such a small area. At the same time I saw potential in different kinds of people and parties who can actually work together with a goal of making people’s lives better, and to make an economic profit out of it.”
· After the Haiti trip, Harrison began working on a project with a professor at Yale University regarding the United Nations and its influence on Haiti’s people and their well-being.
· Following the Peru internship, Harrison began corresponding with a Yale graduate student from Mexico who was working in a similar project.