Dengke Wang, 19, from Portage, Indiana, emigrated from China to northwestern Indiana at the age of seven. Now he’s featured in a new film, “State of Change: Innovation at the Crossroads” from documentary team Roadtrip Nation.
The documentary sent three postsecondary students from Indiana on a life-changing road trip to see how Indiana-grown ingenuity is keeping their home state at the cutting edge of rapid technological change.
They spent two weeks during the summer of 2017 exploring industries powering Indiana’s growth—including healthcare services, advanced manufacturing, biosciences, and technology—and connecting with the Hoosiers working at the forefront of these fields.
The documentary was sponsored by Strada Education Network, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and 1st Source Bank. Visit www.roadtripnation.com/roadtrip/indiana to watch the film and to learn more about career exploration.
Why did you want to do Roadtrip Indiana?
“The main reason I applied for Roadtrip Nation was to gain insight on what careers are available for me and which one is right for me. Since I am at a crucial stage of my life to choose what career I desire to pursue, Roadtrip Nation offered that opportunity and more. Roadtrip Nation offered a unique chance to gain experience outside the classroom on my major by letting me speak to successful people in my major on a personal level. Instead of formal interviews, Roadtrip Nation allowed me to talk to them as interviewees with much less barrier.”
What was the most important thing you learned about Indiana? About yourself?
“Roadtrip has not only allowed me to gain insight on my career choices, but also insight on Indiana. Before I went on the trip, I thought Indiana was just cornfields upon cornfields. My view on Indiana changed drastically after the trip. Indiana actually offers so much more than just cornfields. Indiana offers many different types of lifestyles. You can choose to live beside the lake in upper [northern] Indiana, live in the city of Indianapolis, or somewhere in between.”
“The one thing that definitely changed about me is my confidence. It has increased drastically. I realized, why not live the only life you got to its fullest potential instead of being afraid to try things? With the newly gained confidence, it is easier for me to talk to people and get to know them better.”
Based on your experience, what’s the one piece of advice you would give to other Hoosier students?
“One piece of advice I would give to other Hoosier students is to pursue a major that truly interests you. If you don’t know what you are interested in, put yourself out there and find out!”