Valuing Her Mentor And Host Family

Chen Yang ‘97
The Bach Festival of Philadelphia

It is an experience that has broadened my horizon and helped me grow both intellectually and emotionally.

It was difficult to write a job description for my internship at the Bach Festival. I was exposed to and involved in almost all aspects of organizing the festival. My work schedule was 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday. Occasionally, I worked weekends. For the first several weeks, my primary duty was to update corporate and charitable foundations files. Later, I was actively involved in pre-season ticket sales.

Working independently was a little frustrating at the beginning, since there was a lack of guidance on some issues that I was not in a position to make the decision; and, being new to the organization, I was not familiar with a lot of details related to the general operation of the festival. Eventually, with the support of my mentor, my host family and other (Alumni) board members, I was able to discuss the problems with them and seek their advice. Looking back now, I indeed learned to be a self-manager and took charge of responsibilities without much specific direction from my superior.

I benefited tremendously from the unique mentor program that DPCS provides for its participants. My mentor graduated from Dartmouth in 1959. He met me for breakfast almost every week. We discussed issues ranging from my work with the Bach Festival and our Dartmouth experiences to the economic development of China. My mentor often brought music CDs, interesting books, magazines and newspaper articles for me to read and shared with me his insights and ideas. I have developed a special friendship with my mentor who has guided me through my DPCS experience with his kindness, his wisdom, his humor, his love for Bach and his devotion to Dartmouth.

Last, but not least, I would like to tell you a little bit about my host family in Philadelphia. My host father is also a Dartmouth Class of ‘59 and a loyal Dartmouth alumnus. My host family not only generously provided me with food, shelter, and a splendid social life; but, more importantly, they gave me a home (away from home) and treated me as if I were there own child. It was their love and support that gave me the strength to go through the most difficult time at work. They taught me the truth about life that I would not be able to learn from an Ivy League education. There are so many beautiful memories of my host family that I will cherish forever.

I have gained a lot from my summer internship in Philadelphia. Among them is the special Dartmouth bond I have felt both with my mentor and my host family. It is an experience that has broadened my horizon and helped me grow both intellectually and emotionally.