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For Sturgeon Bay native Christian Danganan, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh not only served as a home base for a strong business education but also as a launchpad for a variety of global experiences.

Danganan, who will graduate Saturday, May 12 with a bachelor’s in economics and a minor in Japanese, initially chose UW Oshkosh because of the excellent ROTC program that he hoped would lead to West Point. Although he has continued his service as a member of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company 2-127th Infantry unit of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, his future ambitions have shifted.

“My ultimate career goal is to work in Japan at the United States Embassy as a diplomat. I realize this is a difficult goal, but I am willing to test my limits to attain it. Ultimately, through my experiences while in college, I have come to care deeply about the interests of the United States of America and Japan. I think it would be an amazing experience to have a job that balances both,” Danganan said.

International experience

Many people are attracted to Japan because of the unique culture and beautiful scenery, but Danagan wanted to explore all aspects of the Japanese culture. Through the Office of International Education, he was able to spend a combined two years in two exchange programs and various volunteer opportunities in Nagasaki and Tokyo, Japan.

” I minored in the Japanese minor program because I wanted to enhance my network and move conversations with my Japanese friends beyond the polite conversation phase,” he said.

Danganan enhanced his public speaking and presentation skills through the volunteer opportunities abroad. In Nagasaki, Danganan spent two summers as a camp counselor and an English teacher for a high school and college program where he had to create formal lesson plans, materials and reflections for every lesson.

In Tokyo, he helped children with mental disabilities improve their fine motor skills through a variety of exercises. The whole program was in Japanese.

“I am thankful for the opportunities UWO afforded me. I learned to be more patient and the experience taught me the joy and satisfaction that you feel when you prioritize other individuals over yourself,” Danganan said.

Beyond Oshkosh

Danagan will expand his global perspective knowledge this summer as he participates in an internship for the Viessmann Group in Allendorf and Berlin, Germany. Upon graduation, he plans to enter the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison as a graduate student.

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