WU,Caroline-Ivey -Business School at Western University
1.Why did you choose to be an exchange student in Guanghua School of Management of Peking University?
For three main reasons: First, my dad had studied in Beijing for his undergraduate and always spoke fondly about the times as a student even though he didn't have half the luxury and privilege to travel I did. I really enjoyed meeting his classmates in Beijing as well. They were so incredibly smart and accomplished in their fields but most importantly genuine and just regular people. Second, I am Chinese but perhaps lack a strong culturally Chinese identity. So I want to connect with this part of my identity and understand Chinese culture and language better. Third, I studied International Relations before I switched to business and I always had a penchant for US-China relations in particular and analyzing Chinese history. Beida has always played a large role in many of pivotal moments in Chinese history.
2.What impresses you the most during the exchange at Guanghua School of Management?
First, the campus strikes you from the moment you walk in! Its absolutely stunning. The campus characterizes the formative role Beida played in Chinese history. Second, in my interactions I have found the local students to be very open-minded and bright. They are very willing to talk to international students and exchange experiences. Third, I am in awe with the faculty at Guanghua. I am taking Investment Banking on Fridays with Michael Pettis, who is world-renown and on Mondays, Professor Ma Li teaches Doing Business with the Chinese people with such passion and understanding of the subject and care for students that I rarely see. Venus, the exchange coordinator at Guanghua is one of the most organized and personable people I have met. She certainly opened the exchange program with such a welcoming and organized start. Lastly, the on-campus canteens are absolutely amazing. Its incredible to see students running at noon to grab food from the millions of stands that line the canteens. The food is delicious and I will miss the canteens when I return to North American chains...
3.What does the exchange experience mean to you?
Or why do you go to an exchange program? Exchange has been an experience that I will treasure and be thankful for the rest of my life. My exchange has offered many avenues of personal growth from finally truly taking an extended period of time in my schedule to understand my grandparent's culture and the country known as 中国 that has always been relatively foreign to meeting new people from all around the world who are so inquisitive. I have learnt to really appreciate many things in China but as well, many things back home that perhaps I take for granted.
4.Which course do you like most and why？
My favourite course is Investment Banking. Michael Pettis is a very knowledgable professor but I had always dismissed Investment Banking because of the prejudice that many women face entering this field. However, I have realized that finance is complex and there are positive societal benefits from the functional part of IBanking; it has the potential to really improve businesses and the economy by opening doors for businesses to incur funding for growth.
5.How did you get along with your teachers and classmates?
I really loved the exchange group of friends that Guanghua created for us. GISA and Venus played an amazing role in organizing an orientation day that broke the ice for us. Many of us traveled together throughout China during the holidays and we will go to wudaokou and eat at the campus canteen together as well. Most of the professors are incredibly knowledgable and truly care about students' development, as a student, you can tell when a professor is there to truly educate or just lecture. Unfortunately, in some of my larger classes there was less opportunity to personally interact with professors.