Alix Lewis ('16)

Alix Lewis ('16)

1. Please tell us a little about yourself!

I hail from the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, but spent the last two years of high school at Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong. That was where my love-affair with China really began. I graduated from Wellesley in 2016, majoring in economics and minoring in Chinese Language & Literature.

2. Why did you decide to become a Chinese Language & Literature major? How did it shape your experience at Wellesley?

When I lived in Hong Kong, I was able to travel to China, and I really fell in love with that part of the world. When I came to Wellesley, I really wanted to maintain and nurture that connection with China, so decided that I wanted to learn Chinese. Separately, my great-grandparents were from Guangdong, so learning Chinese was also a way of trying to privately connect with my family history - a lot of which is unknown. I never intended to become a Chinese Language & Literature minor, but one class led to another, and before I knew it, I had enough credits that the minor was attainable.

Chinese Language & Literature classes were one of my few constants at Wellesley. They were classes I could rely on -- I knew that I would be taking at least one per semester, I knew I would enjoy them, and above all, I knew that they were my "happy place" of academic engagement and curiosity. Chinese was one of my most positive aspects of my Wellesley experience, and whenever I'm back on campus, I always try to go looking for my old professors.

3. What are you doing now?

Last December, I was able to finally move back home. I missed my island very much so it was a bit of a dream to be able to move back. I currently work for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as an Operations Consultant in the Health Sector, and work closely with T&T's Ministry of Health. Prior to moving home, I worked for the IDB in DC. Prior to working for the IDB, I earned my Master in China Studies (Politics & International Relations) as a Yenching Scholar at the Yenching Academy of Peking Univeristy in Beijing.

4. How has your Wellesley experience and your major influenced your life/career after college?

My Wellesley experience continues to positively impact my life and my career. Without Wellesley, I would never have discovered so many of the now-fundamental joys of my life - friends, rugby, Chinese. Because of Wellesley, I meet alums all over the world, sometimes in the most random of circumstances, but the connection is still instantaneous. Because of Wellesley, I discovered rugby, which I continue to play (2 continents, 4 countries, 6 clubs, 2 national training squads later) with an aim of playing at a national level. Because of Wellesley, and more specifically, the EACL department, I continue to focus energy and research into the relationship between China and the Caribbean. In my masters program, I researched and wrote one of the few existing pieces of China-Caribbean infrastructure investment research. I do not think that any of these passions would have been discovered, pursued or supported in the way they have development had it not been for Wellesley, and my life is richer because of it. Wellesley continues to give me so much courage to pursue avenues that might not have otherwise without its encouragement.