Alice Guo (BCom ’14) – Harvard China Forum 2014
Time: April 18th- April 20th
Featured speakers: Kevin Rudd, the former Prime Minister of Austria Fred Hu, the former Chairman of Goldman Sachs in Greater China Website: http://www.harvardchina.org/
My name is Alice Guo. I am a fifth year student specializing in Finance and Marketing. I attended the 2014 Harvard China Forum in Boston, a three-day conference dedicated to address issues that will impact the future of China. As someone who will start a career in Asia, I decided to take the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge, experience and resources in Mainland China. As well, this is a conference that is not listed in ExCo, so I decided to explore this forum and introduce it to more Sauder students who are interested in the Greater China region.
Three years ago, I travelled to Boston for the 2011 Harvard Asia Business Conference as a Sauder representative with the help from ExCo. It was a great experience both in terms of personal development and academic learning. It led to my exchange at the University of Hong Kong and my internships in Shanghai the later year. This conference has done similar impact to me. I mainly attended in panels on Chinese firms’ international strategy and entrepreneurship in China. During the panels, I was able to hear discussion led by China’s leading scholars and business leaders, such as Xu Xiaoping, Managing Parner at Zhenfund and one of the founders of New Oriental Education. Instead of bragging about China’s fast development, most all of the speakers talked about the downsides and challenges resulted from this growth. These insights provide all the audience a realistic view about China.
Also, I attended a mini- forum about female leadership in China since Lean In has becoming a global trend. The speaker, Mrs. Wu Hong, the Founder and CEO of New Alliance Consulting (one of the organizers of Boao Forum for Asia), talked about her entrepreneurial experience and how she made it to the CEO with what she called “the charms of women”. She suggests that instead of acting like a man, women need to learn how to use their feminine characteristics, such as patience and gentleness, to differentiate from male leadership. Act like a woman is very powerful when females are able to apply their “charms” effectively. I was very inspired, and it was definitely a highlight of the forum.
Overall, I would highly recommend this conference to Sauder students who are interested in a career pursuit in the Greater China region, because it gives you a chance to meet like-minded people and enables you to gain knowledge in the real Chinese business world.