Guanghua Features

#Meet Our “Future Leaders” # is a series featuring the personal stories of students in PKU Guanghua’s “Future Leaders” International Undergraduate Program.

Today, we’re introducing Lauren Ho, a girl from Hong Kong, China, who values diversity and constantly immerses herself in new challenges.

About Lauren Ho

Lauren Ho is a fourth-year student from Hong Kong studying at the Guanghua School of Management as part of the “Future Leaders” Program. Before coming to Peking University, she spent two undergraduate years at The Smith School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, where she was an active member of numerous sustainability, dance, and cultural clubs. Alongside her studies in business, Lauren currently works with the strategy team at the South China Morning Post.

Summitting mountains to reach new heights

I attended high school in Montezuma, New Mexico among 200 students representing over 90 different nationalities. My days were spent studying in the classroom; my nights were spent discussing the implications of the Trump presidency on immigration policy, listening to soca music with Trinis, and having conversations with my roommates from Angola and Palestine. The mission of the school – to cultivate peace and a sustainable future through education – was lived out to the fullest every day.

In a field like business that’s often focused on getting ahead and being lucrative, it’s important to sometimes step back and evaluate the repercussions of fixating on profit at the expense of human connection. My experiences studying alongside two hundred diverse students who believe in making the world a better place has given me an entirely different perspective on the responsibilities of being a citizen of the earth, and its only deepened while studying with students from around the world in theFuture Leaders” program.

Going to school in the New Mexican desert also meant I spent a lot of time in the wilderness. I earned my role as a Wilderness Leader by completing a 14-day backcountry backpacking trip and a Wilderness First Aid course. Despite being a city girl through and through, I found that reconnecting with nature and having the opportunity to climb both literal and metaphorical summits helped me realise the limits of what I can do physically and mentally. I’ve been chasing similar challenges ever since.

Immersing myself in new opportunities

I’ve been working with theSouth China Morning Postfor the past two years. I started out with the product team where I worked on subscriptions and customer service flow, but I’ve been given a lot of freedom to contribute my own ideas and acted as product lead for the help centre. More recently, I’ve pivoted to the SCMP strategy team, where I’ve co-authored the 2021 China Internet Report and helped launch SCMP’s first sold out NFT drop with ARTIFACTs.

I love going deep into problems, finding patterns, and doing research. In this spirit, I’m constantly searching for opportunities to expand my horizons and look at things differently. To do this, I’m a big advocate of trying new things and diving head-first into the deep end of new opportunities that arise. This strategy is how I’ve won a hackathon with no coding experience, become a Cartoon Network voice actress, and meet all the inspiring people I’ve come across. I highly recommend saying yes to the next thing that comes your way because you never know where it may lead.

If I’m not at the SCMP office, at my desk attending class, or out exploring, you’ll probably find me in a dance studio. Whether it be choreographing for a school musical, teaching ballet, or competing with the Queen’s Competitive Dance Team, I always try to find time to dance.

Returning to my roots

Before attending Peking University, I’ve lived and received my education in three different countries around the world, but I’ve always known that I would return to Asia after graduation. In addition to the amount of opportunity that is available in China as a growing economy, I also have great respect for the country for how it developed the way it did under the conditions it has. Despite coming so far, China is now just starting to feel the effects of its light-speed development and there are so many spaces, like sustainability and policy, where I can see myself making an impact and further shaping healthy growth.

Finding value in online learning

Studying in "Future Leaders" Program online due to the pandemic, professors have the difficult task of engaging both online and offline students for discussion but have been doing a fantastic job in making everyone feel included. Despite the hybrid model, classes are still engaging and it’s incredibly apparent how passionate and capable each professor is in their field.It’s not unusual for each professor to include their current research or their previous contributions to the topics discussed in class which impresses me every time.

The admin and my classmates have also contributed hugely to the success of the program thus far. Obviously, everybody is disappointed we couldn’t get to campus and meet everyone in person, but the quality of interaction we’ve had online has almost made me forget what we are missing out on. The way everybody has stepped up this year in a mutually reinforcing ring of support has been truly inspiring.

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.