Week One in Beijing

Chex Yu '13 sent us this post about her first week in Beijing. Sounds like things are going well with our intrepid band of E Minor students and their internships in the Chinese capital.


I don’t think I have ever had a more packed week! After arriving at Beijing with other E-minor students, we have been doing everything from taking classes at Peking University (PKU), working fulltime, meeting local entrepreneurs, attending amazing concerts to trying out all sorts of food including scorpions.

This summer, the twelve of us from the E-minor are interning with entrepreneurs in Beijing while taking summer classes at Peking University. Life has been extremely busy but fulfilling at the same time. I am interning at China Entrepreneurs (CE)/CEBEX Group, which is a prominent business intelligence company that provides a wide range of services to support entrepreneurs in China. After my first week, I’m amazed to see how active the entrepreneurial community is in Beijing and how CE managed to grow at such a fast pace over the past few years. I’m really excited to be fully immersed and gain a much better understanding of entrepreneurship in China through this professional working experience.

Even though I have only been here for a week, I found myself having too little time to do everything I want to do in this city. Beijing, being the center of China, attracts some of the most talented and interesting people. The city is so active and open as long as you are willing to reach out and explore. Other than my internship, I was able to gain access to resources that align with many of my personal interests. After being here for a week, I already got involved with TEDxBeijing, TEDxGreatWall, the Beijing Healthcare Forum, and other interest groups self-organized by local university students. Through these networks, I was able to meet so many people from all sectors of society. It really has been a wonderful experience.

All of us are living at PKU, which is seen as the Harvard of China. Since I grew up in China, I know how amazing an opportunity it is for me to spend a summer at PKU. Through a social innovation group at PKU, I was able to meet many students and have been learning so much from them. Since I’m familiar with the Chinese culture and language, I recognize that I have a much easier time adjusting. I have so much respect for the American students on our trip who are being extremely independent and respectful of a different culture. Our program assistants from PKU and Professor Stewart from UNC have also given us tremendous help. Although it is challenging to work fulltime, take classes, and adjust to a different environment all at the same time, we very lucky to have wonderful support by both universities and our internship hosts.

Week one is over and my calendar is already filled with meetings, concerts, soccer games, and a night camping on the Great Wall. I’m very excited to see what other adventures await for all of us on the Eastern side of the world!