Starting fresh

Pandemic or no pandemic, sophomore Peter Chau is finding ways to thrive on campus.

Peter Chau uses his tablet to join a video call in the Multicultural Center Oct. 14, 2021. Sam O'Keefe/University of Missouri

Jan. 3, 2022

A quick glimpse at Peter Chau’s calendar tells you how closely he manages his day. From 5:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., every minute is accounted for, even the 15-minute walk from class to class.

If the University of Missouri sophomore isn’t in one of his business classes, he is serving in a leadership role in one of the organizations he is involved in.

When Chau’s first arrived on campus in fall 2020, the world was battling a pandemic. Classes were held via Zoom, events were canceled and the typical college experience seemed like a thing of the past.

Despite that, Chau joined Global Professionals, a business student organization that focuses on connecting business and international studies. He also found his place in the Asian American Association, a student organization that focuses on raising awareness of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures, histories and current issues.

“That really helped me to expand my bubble and my network and who I met,” Chau said.

This year, Chau is serving as co-programming chair on the Asian American Association’s executive board. He is also helping establish the Japanese Cultural Club, which he will serve as secretary next semester.

He plans to study abroad in Japan next year, which will better prepare him for his future career as a business interpreter.

One thing that remains consistent this year and last has been Mizzou’s efforts to provide opportunities for students.

“My involvement is a lot more hands on this year,” Chau said. “It’s a lot more demanding because you have so many things to manage, and you have to actually be inspired … But it is more fun.”

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