Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management welcomed the first cohort of its "Future Leaders" Program through a three-day virtual orientation event held from August 18-20.
Refusing to allow limitations on international mobility prevent them from becoming global citizens, the Program’s students representing 12 countries and regions started their journey at Guanghua by hearing from Guanghua’s leadership, meeting each other through a series of ice breakers, and engaging with a panel of alumni. Students also met the professors for their first-semester courses and learned more about the innovative China-focused business curriculum that was created specifically for their Program.
International students admitted to the “Future Leaders” Program spend two years at Guanghua’s partner universities completing foundational coursework in management and economics before joining their Chinese classmates at Guanghua to form a single cohort. Their cohort will complete specialized business coursework together for the final two years of their undergraduate studies.
First cohort of the “Future Leaders” Program
The Program generally only admits students in the top 20% of their class and seeks out outstanding young people who possess a well-defined vision, leadership potential, and the courage to explore new and different cultures. Embodying these principles of comprehensive excellence, 70% of international students have mastered three or more languages and 50% of international students have life experiences spanning multiple countries or regions. Among the incoming international students are individuals who have founded multiple companies, played on a professional football team, embarked on multi-month backpacking trips in other countries, studied multiple years of Chinese, and completed an applied engineering degree in filming.
They will join a group of 10 equally outstanding Chinese students who have not only demonstrated a commitment to their academics but are also involved in leadership activities across the Peking University campus, including emceeing campus events, leading student clubs, regularly participating in philanthropic activities, completing internships, and conducting academic research.
Expanding Access to International Opportunities
LIU Qiao, Dean of PKU Guanghua
“The Program serves as a platform for bright students to establish sincere and lasting friendships, cultivate a multicultural vision and inclusive mindset, and join hands to embrace new globalization.” Guanghua Dean LIU Qiao expressed a warm welcome to the students and looks forward to seeing them in Beijing in the near future.
Through the “Future Leaders” Program, Guanghua provides undergraduates with access to the kind of life-changing international opportunities that are often only available at the graduate level. The Program has received enthusiastic support from top business schools across the globe. Since it was first proposed by Guanghua’s Dean LIU Qiao, 15 of the world’s top business schools from 13 countries and regions have joined as program partners.
Deans and other members of leadership from the Program’s partners schools offered their congratulations to the first cohort and provided words of wisdom for the students as they start the year.
Joining a Community
During orientation, Program team members introduced the history of Peking University together with its strong academic and cultural tradition. Students also metthe instructors for their first semester of classes.
Prof. Zhou Li-an
Associate Dean of PKU Guanghua
Professor of Economics
“I believe that the Future Leaders Program is the new beginning of your educational journey where you will discover your personal and professional potential, as well as accumulate spiritual wealth for a lifetime.”
As head of undergraduate and postgraduate education, Professor Zhou outlined the learning resources available to students, introduced Guanghua’s educational philosophy, and provided a synopsis of the Program’s structure. Professor Zhou encouraged students to make good use of the interdisciplinary platform provided by Guanghua, to become intimately familiar with China’s challenges and opportunities, to broaden their global horizons, and to actively explore their research and professional interests.
Ms. Mo Shujun
Assistant Dean of PKU Guanghua
Director of International Relations
“We will do everything in our power to integrate you into your new community with us, encourage you to learn from one another, and are excited to see how you grow from these new learning experiences.”
Ms. Mo Shujun shared the history of PKU and highlighted some of its outstanding alumni before going on to address Guanghua’s role in China’s economic development and its role in building bridges internationally. She provided insight into how the “Future Leaders” Program was created, telling students how they came to be part of their new community.
Prof. Zhang Yu
”Future Leaders“ Faculty Advisor
Assistant Professor of Finance
“We want to develop you into future leaders, not only for your own country, but for the world.”
The first cohort’s faculty advisor, Professor Zhang Yu, introduced his own academic background studying at Princeton, gave the students an overview of students admitted to the Program, and introduced his role as faculty advisor. In such a diverse, international class, he emphasized the importance of integrating as a single cohort, making the effort to understand each other, and approaching the experience in China with an active and open mind.
Thriving at PKU and in China
Giving new students the opportunity to learn from those who came before them, three PKU alumni--Chen Chen (Guanghua Undergraduate Program), Ignas Vycas (Guanghua IMBA), and Raz Gal-Or (School of International Relations)—joined a panel session to share how their experience at PKU helped them pursue their interests in their professional careers in China.
Chen Chen, who just completed her bachelor’s degree at Guanghua talked about the diversity of career paths available to Guanghua students, with some of her peers pursuing careers at multinational companies, some pursuing academic research, and some starting their own companies.
Ignas, originally from Lithuania, has been deeply involved in the fields of investment and consulting in China for five years. He suggested that students take time to think in the midst of the uncertain global environment. Being a student at Guanghua gives infinite possibilities to absorb new knowledge and make continuous progress so that students will be prepared for whatever future may come.
Raz Gal-Or from Israel shared how his time at PKU was instrumental in building his own media company. “PKU is a place where you can dream and realize your dreams.” At PKU, he met his Chinese business partner, who has also become a close friend for life.
A Platform for Engagement
The Orientation was designed to be both reflective and interactive. Through the three themes of "self and dialogue", "academics and learning", and"China and campus life", students were encouraged to delve deeper into their own unique stories, share where their personal journeys have already taken them, and find common ground with other students as they embark on a new chapter together. Through these moments of storytelling with their peers, students enriched their understanding of the world and their individual roles in it.
"I believe that society needs leaders who not only know how to do things right, but also know how to do right things. It's a leader's commitment, strong passion and great sense of responsibility that will help make society work better. I want to be this kind of leader."
---ZHOU Chenlong, China
"To finally see my excellent fellow students, to listen to their unique experiences and to share my own, to interact with them and find things in common, was really engaging. Thank you for this experience!"
---Maximillian Kamp, Germany
"In this increasingly connected world, we need to embrace diversity. The “Future Leaders” Program gives me and more young leaders the opportunity to step up to create a better future for ourselves and for the generations to come”.
---Nur Harisa, Singapore
In the face of uncertainty, “Future Leaders” students have chosen to bravely continue their journey, but they can do so with confidence, knowing that they are facing the future together as part of a new community that will help shape them into the next generation of global leaders.
“Future Leaders” Program
By partnering with 15 of the world’s best business schools, the Belt & Road Institute and the Guanghua School of Management have created a program that gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of their local markets while also immersing them in one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic economies in the world: China.
While at Peking University, students will live and study together with classmates of diverse backgrounds from all over the world, including domestic students from China, creating a unique platform to form and exchange new ideas.
Guanghua School of Management
The Guanghua School of Management is widely recognized as one of the premier business schools with multiple programs that routinely rank among the best in Asia. We attract approximately 400 international students every year to participate in our broad range of programs. Guanghua's preeminent faculty and students have played key roles in China's economic development, putting Guanghua in a unique position to bring the world to China and China to the world.