Jamal Russell Black

Jamal Russell Black was a CLS participant in 2016 in China, and is now the CEO and Head Researcher at Veridian Analytics in San Diego, CA. His goal was always to work in international and economic development, and during his undergraduate program it became apparent to Jamal that learning Chinese would be extremely helpful.

“When selecting a graduate school, I wanted to make sure I put myself in the best position to be successful. My graduate program was a combination of economics, environmental policy and Chinese, so the CLS Program fit perfectly with my career goals and aspirations.”

Jamal has participated in other study abroad programs, but his favorite part about CLS was living with his host family and exclusively speaking Chinese.

“I came home after CLS knowing that I fully engaged with the culture. I had already been exposed to other cultures, but with CLS in China I became more open-minded and culturally aware. The program shows you how to better respect cultures, helping you move past any preconceived notions you may have.”

Jamal is proud of his Chinese and takes online courses to keep learning. In the future, Jamal hopes to start environmentally focused projects in China where he can use his language skills. Language has been so useful in his career that he has also begun studying German to help his firm enter into new markets.

“Go outside of your comfort zones and push your limitations of what you feel is achievable because in the end you will surprise yourself of what you can achieve. When you look back you will be shocked at just how far you’ve come.”