My name is Ruili and I’m from Sichuan, China. Before I joined the M.S. in Global Commerce program, I attended Beijing Normal University where I studied business administration. The primary reason that I chose this program is because I was excited about the opportunity to experience cultures that were different from my own.
My favorite part so far has been how the program directors, professors, and class delegates integrate global diversity into everything we do, like who you live with, the groups you are assigned to in class, or program activities outside the classroom. In my opinion, this has been the most integral part of the program because it forces everyone to learn about how our classmates work, live, and even eat differently all around the world. Everyone in the cohort is constantly surprising or teaching one another something new.
As a Chinese student studying in the United States, there were a number of things that I had to adjust to that were unexpected. For example, I love living with my international classmates. However, I noticed many differences between us like how my American roommates set the air conditioning very low in the apartment and don’t cover their feet indoors. In the meantime, I’m freezing in my room and am used to always wearing slippers while at home. However, I think the biggest adjustment I have faced has been in the academic setting. This one-year program is rigorous and the courses are highly compact, intense, and require a lot of preparation for class, which can be difficult at times. Even though it can be stressful, I still find the work that I am doing fulfilling and very interesting. I have already developed a lot as a person and a professional.
If I were to give one piece of advice to someone considering the M.S. in Global Commerce program, it would be this: be prepared to embrace multiculturalism and practice communicating across cultures. To be successful, it is important to always have an open mind and be willing to step outside your comfort zone. I still find it challenging to bridge the cultural distance between myself and my international classmates. To overcome this obstacle, I make an effort to hang out with them after class, contribute as much as I can with my team’s work, and be open to conversations with someone late at night.
Looking ahead, I am excited to see what the rest of this year has in store for us! We are now at Lingnan (University) College in Guangzhou, and I am introducing my American and European classmates to all of my favorite aspects about living in China. I’m already looking forward to the courses that we’ll take at ESADE Business School in Spain and exploring the beautiful city of Barcelona. I am confident that after this amazing year, I will be able to work in any type of team, master a global outlook, and have the confidence to express complex business solutions effectively. These capabilities will help me be successful as I prepare to launch my career.