Sophia grew up in Wayzata, MN. She graduated from The Blake School Cum Laude, with an award in Chinese in June 2008. She was accepted by Northwestern University early decision program in December of 2007. Sophia originally had planned on following in the steps of her parents, choosing Pre-Medicine. However, due to a sports-related severe knee injury, Sophia gave herself pause to think about what she really wanted to pursue. She had one word for it: Chinese. Sophia had been steadily involved in the Chinese language since second grade at The Breck School, and wanted it to remain an important part of her life.
During Sophia’s sophomore at Northwestern, she took part in an intense 8 week summer study abroad program in Beijing, China and at Tsinghua University. The language was taught by native Chinese professors, and she maintained a GPA of 3.8 while studying abroad. This enabled Sophia to graduate half a year early with a degree in Asian Languages and Civilizations with two minors: Chinese and Global Health. After graduating from Northwestern University, Sophia returned to Minnesota to pursue career options in her home state. Sophia began to look for some part time work in early March and was approached to be a Chinese tutor, having been recommended by her former dean and Chinese professor, for a student at her alma mater (The Blake School). Sophia began tutoring Chinese to a senior student that had fallen behind in Chinese. Because of the success in such a short period of time, she was asked to be a full-time tutor.
For the remainder of the school year, Sophia was at the student’s home almost every day and also went to the high school to meet with teachers. Word spread of Sophia’s success with that student and she was approached by another family to tutor their student. As the school year ended, so did the tutoring. Sophia took on a 2 month internship in Beijing, China with Hill + Knowlton, a Public Relations firm. She then came back to the United States and began a full time job at a small financial firm downtown Minneapolis, but as work went on Sophia began to miss Chinese and the challenge of the language and so Bespoke Learning was founded.
Since then Sophia has seen numerous students grow and achieve their academic goals. Sophia continues to tutor and grow the business even expanding to Northern Wisconsin to the Northwoods. Sophia now resides in northern Wisconsin with her husband, Doug, and their amazing dog, Rupert. Sophia continues to commute to the twin cities area to tutor in person as needed, but has expanded the tutoring practice by adding virtual tutoring sessions.
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