University of Chicago alumni Steve Sun and Paul Wang led a panel discussion on both undergraduate internship opportunities as well as available career paths in China for an audience composed of current UChicago undergraduate students as well as alumni. These undergraduate students included Metcalf Fellowship interns, students enrolled in the summer Chinese language program and other students interning in the Beijing area. Sun, a Chicago Booth alumnus who founded Concord Medical Services Holding Company in Beijing, discussed entrepreneurship opportunities and challenges in China. Wang, an alumnus of the University of Chicago Law School, explored employment under local companies and suggested that applicants should not only have some experience with Chinese but also offer a specific skill set that attracts Chinese firms.
Several recent University of Chicago graduates were invited to share their experiences working and interning in Beijing. They also discussed research fellowships, attending Chinese universities for graduate school and working at local clinics for field experience. Invited alumni also included those in the Booth School Global Launchpad session. Chicago Booth alum Michael Poon, Associate Consultant at McKinsey & Company based in Hong Kong, offered his insight on acquiring employment in an overseas office of a large banking or consultant firm based in the United States.
The alumni agreed that China offers students many promising opportunities, including teaching English, academic fellowships and studies and employment under local and international firms. The discussion, moderated by James Withrow, Associate Director for Operations and Special Initiatives at the Center in Beijing, also addressed issues brought up by students, including language standards for Chinese firms and the market for entrepreneurial opportunities.
Rachael Ward, Assistant Director of CAPS University-sponsored Programs and Outreach, opened the program by welcoming Metcalf interns with an introduction to the Metcalf Fellowship Program, highlighting the growing international internship network engendered by continued developments in relationships between alumni and undergraduates. Thanks to the pioneering work of Jeff Metcalf in providing internship positions for students, the program has had tremendous success in building relationships that have led to meaningful experiences, invaluable knowledge and career opportunities.
(See here for the Fall 2011 Student Alumni Event)