Alumni Profile: Lingguang Li – Living on Trains and Buses
Lingguang, an ICB alumna from the class of fall 2012, works as an intern for a Chinese investment company in Chengdu, Sichuan. In contrast with most Chinese students who plan their academic and career goals way into the future, Lingguang seeks out engaging experiences today that will benefit her personally and/or professionally tomorrow. And, since life is short, believes that students should avoid doing something that’s not of much interest to them. She hopes to gain more career knowledge and enjoy travel with friends during this, her Chinese Zodiac year.
Q: What have you been doing since graduation? What kind of work do you have now? And did you decide which graduate school to attend in the future?
A: I am doing an internship at China Railway Group Limited-Chengdu Investment and Development Company. My job is about accounting, to record how the money comes and goes. I haven’t decided yet about graduate school. I am still waiting to receive all of the final admission decisions. Then I will think about where I should go.
Q: According to your personal work experience, what is the primary attribute you think is most essential in the work environment?
A: The spirit that comes from team work is always to the company’s benefit. Working is not like studying. You need to cooperate with others and listen to others’ suggestions. I know people cherish their leisure time, but you should always remember you have to be responsible for your job because it is the reason you’re paid.
Q: What are your long-run career goals? How are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
A: That’s a really big question. To be honest, I don’t have any specific plan. The only thing I can tell you is that I would like to try to search for a job in the U.S. after earning a master’s degree. I don’t like thinking too much about the future, so I just know I should get into graduate school and try to explore my life.
Q: How did you communicate with professors and American students? How did you get along with them? What do you think is most important in communication with them?
A: Just talk to them and send emails. I don’t think that we’re so different from American students and professors. What’s important is to be always sincere.
Q: I heard you love traveling and visited various places. Can you share some fantastic experiences with us?
A: I rode a bus while traveling in Florida. I met different people on different buses. Some of them spoke Spanish to me. Some of them spoke in phrases commonly used in the African-American community, which were hard for me to understand. Some of them were strange, such as a woman who kept showing me her turtles. A big black fellow, although he appeared brainsick, insisted on showing us the way on a map. I felt magic on buses because it showed me what a large world we live in.
Q: What is the primary benefit of the ICB program?
A: It gave me a chance to learn more about myself and find my own way. ICB is not only like a bridge, taking me somewhere I want to go, but also like a training ground, instilling in me the tools necessary to confront the future.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to have a global education and a better understanding of another country?
A: Experiencing education in the U.S. definitely expanded my horizons. I learned in another language and was exposed to a different way of thinking. Studying in the U.S. has made me more tolerant, peaceful and thankful. These invisible improvements please me.
Q: How do you think an ICB education will benefit your further college study?
A: My college life in ICB taught me how to study and what to study. And I was also professionally trained in economics. I think I’ll be competitive because of my professional knowledge and cross cultural background.