Campus Celeb: Kana Leia Veney

What’s your Major? Why? What do you want to do with it?

I am a graduating senior double majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) & International Business (IB). In my sophomore year, I was an intern for Victoria’s Secret PINK and TD Ameritrade. At Victoria’s Secret, I applied my marketing and entrepreneurial skills that I learned in Shidler to promote the brand around campus. After completing a required intro to computer sciences course (ICS 101B), which helped me land the internship at TD Ameritrade, it solidified my decision to pursue a Management Information Systems major. Through this internship, I recently accepted a full-time position as a Rotational Business Analyst in TD Ameritrade’s Emerging Talent Program.

What are some of your favorite activities on campus/what are you involved in?

I enjoy going to football game tailgates and participating in philanthropic activities such as Relay for Life and donating blood through the Honolulu Blood Bank. It sounds weird, but I also enjoy studying at Sinclair library, drinking coffee from the Bean Counter (coffee shop in Shidler), and eating at Bale.

Where have you studied abroad?

This past summer, I studied abroad in Tainan, Taiwan at 成功大學 through a governmental scholarship program called TUSA (Taiwan-United States Sister Relations Alliance Scholarship Program). I studied Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture for two months.

I also studied abroad in Rennes, France at École Supérieure de Commerce (ESC Rennes) through the Manoa International Exchange (MIX) Program for the Fall 2015 semester. While there, I studied mostly International Business and took one technical elective class for my MIS major.

What's the most culturally interesting thing about Taiwan and France?

The people in Taiwan are so incredibly nice and helpful, it really surprised me. Even if you can barely say “Hi, my name is…” in Mandarin, they are so excited that you can even say that. Also, Taiwan has delicious food. Some of my favorites were hot pot, fresh mango, and curry fried rice.

One of the most surprising things about France was how early everything closes. For example, almost no store is open past 2pm on Sundays and many small to medium size stores close for lunch breaks. They also eat a lot healthier, in general, and tend to cook most meals at home, which was a nice change from the American fast-food lifestyle. My favorite foods were galettes (similar to crêpes), macaroons, and wine!

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I was one of the students that knew from the beginning I wanted to go out of state for college. After doing my research, I realized that UH had one of the best International Business and study abroad programs in the country, which solidified my decision to come here. Last fall, I studied International Business in Rennes, France with the support of a Shidler scholarship. By studying abroad, it gives everyone the same opportunity to see the world whether you’re local or from out-of-state, and attending Shidler College of Business was the best way for me to do that.

Would you recommend it to your friends? 

I would absolutely recommend studying abroad, regardless of your major or career goals. Even if you have travelled abroad before, living abroad is a completely different experience. It not only completely submerges you in another culture and/or language, it also pushes you to be more independent and experience new things. There are so many scholarship opportunities available to help students pay for it including using Financial Aid and applying for study abroad specific scholarships. Just make sure you start planning and applying early because getting your visa and other travel documents and arrangements takes time and preparation.

What would you have done differently? 

I wish I would have saved up more money to be able to afford one or two more weekend travels to other countries. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Hong Kong for a weekend while I was studying in Taiwan and I went to Milan & Venice in Italy, Amsterdam in The Netherlands, and Cairo in Egypt while I was studying in France. I don’t regret any of those travels, I just wish I could have done more!

Would you ever live in another country besides the one’s you studied abroad in? Which one?

I would be open to living in another country as an expatriate, although I would want it to be in a country where English is either a primary or secondary language for most people. I would be willing to re-learn French or Chinese if I was located in France, China, or other French/Chinese speaking countries.

5 Words to describe your first time living out of the country:

-       Independence

-       Global-citizen

-       Open-mindedness

-       Learning

-       Cultural immersion

Visit my travel blog for more!