#Meet Our “Future Leaders” # is a series featuring the personal stories of students in PKU Guanghua’s “Future Leaders” International Undergraduate Program.Learn more about student life in the “Future Leaders” Program from those who know it best: our students.
Today, we meet Jason Yang, a student from Canada who is passionate about product management, entrepreneurship, and creating a social impact to help the lives of ordinary people.
About Jason Yang
Hi everyone, nice to e-meet you all! I’m Jason, a fourth-year student studying for a dual degree from Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management and Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business through the “Future Leaders” Program. I was born in Sudbury, Ontario, just north of Toronto and moved to the United States when I was six. Most of my childhood was spent in Seattle, a bustling tech environment where I developed strong passions for technology and entrepreneurship. Looking ahead, I’m hoping to combine these two interests and pursue a career in product management before eventually starting my own business.
Overcoming Adversity, Accepting Who I Am
One of my biggest accomplishments in life was completely changing my previously sedentary lifestyle to one full of health, fitness, and happiness. From elementary school through the middle of high school, I carelessly ate junk food and neglected to take care of my body. As a shorter kid, I always felt helpless and that I was just born disadvantaged. At the end of high school, one of my close friends introduced me to a local gym just a 15-minute walk from campus. I went with him to socialize and started to do exercise.I became increasingly cognizant of the positive effects it had, not just physically, but mentally as well. I enjoyed the endorphin rush, and it improved my overall mood each day. I started to make minor adjustments to my habits, becoming more careful about what I ate by moving towards unprocessed natural foods.Today, this complete paradigm shift makes me proud because it’s shaped who I am now and who I will be in the future. I still have many improvements to make, but it’s gratifying to reflect on what I’ve already accomplished.
Finding Goals through Multi-National Career Path
When I was in my first two years of undergraduate study at Queen’s University in Canada’s one-time capital Kingston, I was heavily involved with on-campus clubs related to investment, a technology-business incubator, and AI and ML. My professional career began in 2017 in Seattle as a research intern during my last year of high school, giving me the opportunity to explore machine learning and computer vision. I spent the summer of 2018 as a marketing intern at MCRL Overseas Group, where I interacted frequently with customers and improved my interpersonal communication skills. After finishing my first year of university, I collectively worked together with my best friends from high school to build a social media event-based messaging platform called Gather, which we were able to successfully offer through the Google Play Store. After some experimentation, I decided to delve deeper into Product Management, so I joined Launch Consulting as a product management intern. Last summer, I interned Stably.io, a Seattle-based stablecoin cryptocurrency start-up.Going forward, I am looking to work in product management at a large Chinese tech company. I just joined a product management club on campus, and it’s exciting to meet so many like-minded, entrepreneurial students who share so many similarities with me!
I have played chess competitively since elementary school and continue to play in my free time, but I also enjoy playing board games with my friends. My music taste is also very diverse — some of my favorite genres include Kpop, Mando-pop, hip-hop, country, and EDM. Recently, I’ve also particularly enjoyed reading. Some of my favorite books I would recommend areThe Little Prince,Psychology of Money, andAtomic Habits. I exercise regularly and try to live a very active and healthy lifestyle. I also love playing sports, especially badminton and American football, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy good pizza with my friends!
Pursuing Personal Cultural Heritage and Career Development in China
Although I am of Chinese heritage, I felt disconnected from my cultural roots growing up. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in China was a chance to fully immerse myself into the Chinese culture and discover the world that my family grew up in. I was excited for the ways in which living with the locals and experiencing all that China has to offer would help me better understand what it means to be Chinese.
Another strong reason for me was China’s emergence as a world superpower. The staple of success for the last hundred years has been the American Dream. For myself though, I’ve grown disillusioned with this and am enticed by the new Chinese Dream. As the world’s most populous country, the opportunities are endless and the market potential is enormous.The “Future Leaders” Program is an excellent way to interact with some of the brightest minds across the globe and learn from each other in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
What Makes This Program Special to Me
I’m thoroughly impressed by how well the students all work together.We all come from different countries and different upbringings, but we use our unique experiences to make each other better.I feel safe sharing my opinions, knowing that even though some students might disagree with my perspective, they can accept my view and will sincerely take the time to listen to my rationale.
Coming to campus recently has also been an amazing experience! I was able to walk across Weiming Lake during the cold winter and enjoy warm, delicious hotpot at HaiDiLao all in the same day! The food on and around campus is amazing as well. Everyone is so friendly, and I’m glad to have made new friends.As someone who has never lived away from North America, it’s relieving to know everyone around the world is not so different after all.
PKU Guanghua “Future Leaders” Program
The Guanghua School of Management founded the "Future Leaders" International Undergraduate Double-Degree Program in partnership with 15 of the world’s best business schools, giving 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. This program focuses on admitting top students with outstanding leadership potential from Peking University and its partner institutions. After completing their first two years of study at the institution in their home country, students live and study together with classmates of diverse backgrounds from all over the world—including students from China—for two more years as a single cohort at Peking University.