Student Spotlight: Xi Lin

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Courtesy: Xi Lin

We have a wonderful group of fun-loving exchange students on campus this trimester which means more T-Birds in the world (and more couches to sleep on!). Each week, we spotlight one of these students to share a little about themselves and the most revealing question of all, what’s in your backpack?

This week, we ask Xi Lin of China, for a peek inside her black backpack (with plenty of pockets!)

Where are you from?      

My home country is People’s Republic of China, which is very old and highly diverse. I was born in a suburban area of Hunan Province, the middle part of China. Due to limited information and financial situation, I did not have any opportunity to study abroad as a teenager. When I got into university in Beijing, I found that there were lots of exchange and visiting programs to other countries. As China became the most attractive emerging economy in the world, Chinese students were eventually open to opportunities to have real experiences beyond borders. My personal experience kind of matched the trend that China shifted from an inward looking country to outward looking, from static to dynamic.

What school are you on exchange with and how long will you be at Thunderbird?  

I am an exchange student from School of International Studies, Peking University.  Actually, it is quite weird for an academic school to have an exchange program with a business school. The bridge between PKU and Thunderbird was built based on the deans’ personal connection. However, one year of T-bird life convinced me that the two deans had great vision on cultivating students. It is in the exchange year that I learned how to integrate knowledge with the real world. Well, I will graduate in May, but now I can feel my intense reluctance to leave because there are so many excellent friends and professors here from whom I can learn a lot.

What is your favorite part of Thunderbird so far?

What I like the most about Thunderbird is the integration of business and global perspective. Globalization existed since 1980s and became prevalent in 2000s; however, there was no school like Thunderbird would nicely combine them together to promote international business interaction despite cultural differences. Part of the integration realized through the designed constitution of various students. T-birds came from different continents and countries, bringing a distinguished way of thinking, doing business to the same platform, which directly lead to multi-cultural communication drill. Apart from that, I appreciate the caring atmosphere here very much. There was something bad that happened to me while at Thunderbird, but I received sincere care and help from T-birds as well as faculty. Their support inspired me to get rid of the predicament and fight for the future.

What are you hoping to do when you leave Thunderbird and graduate?

I will have to go back to PKU, China, because I still need at least half a year to process the graduation from Peking University. During the time, I’d like to seek a job in strategic consulting or Foreign Service, which would give me the opportunity to put what I learned into practice. I will also undertake research on education in underdeveloped areas and raise fund to start a non-profit organization, whose mission will be providing support for students from poor families to get high-level education.

What are the three most interesting things in your backpack?

There are three interesting things that I often take with me, a Canon 7D, an umbrella and a notebook. I have the habit to record what I saw and I felt via pictures and writing.  Taking pictures at a touching moment bring the experience to life and writing on notebook is the best way to collect my thoughts and feelings. I traveled to 12 cities in the U.S. with my boyfriend during break and an umbrella was always necessary to carry as the weather in different states altered so much.

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