Wilma Yingqi Wu
- Course: BSc International Business
- Year of graduation: 2014
- Nationality: Chinese
- Job title: Associate
- Company: Grant Thornton
From Wuhan to Leeds
"I am from Jiangyin City, near Shanghai in East China. I wanted to study in both China and England to broaden my horizons, as in our increasingly global environment I believe it is crucial to have an international outlook.
"I joined the 2+2 programme at Wuhan University in China in 2010. This programme enables students to pursue a bachelor's degree at an overseas partnership university after successfully finishing their first two years of study in their home country.
"My first year at Wuhan University was mainly focused on language training and academic skills. In the second year, all the modules covered subjects like accounting, marketing and economics which gave me an overview of business. At the end of year two I successfully enrolled on the BSc International Business programme at the University of Leeds and graduated in 2014.
"As a direct entry international student I appreciated the high quality of teaching at the Business School and the friendly environment where different cultures were really integrated. I especially valued opportunities to explore entrepreneurship and leadership which helped me to improve my overall employability. In Chinese Universities, career education is not so focused as it is in UK Universities.
"Whether you are studying in China or England, you will always have lectures, exams and assignments. The academic environment, however, is totally different. In England, students have to be self-motivated to study, whilst in China they are often chased up by teachers to finish their work. In a Chinese classroom the learning experience is only one way - from the teachers to students - but in Leeds we had regular seminars that encouraged interaction between students and lecturers.
"I found I had more time and opportunities to explore the extra-curricular life in Leeds than I did in China. I joined a variety of societies, volunteered in the sustainability garden, organised Chinese New Year Celebrations in Leeds Town Hall, and attended the Enactus business competition national finale. I also had a taste of democracy through running the campaign for Leeds University Union's Equality and Diversity officer. By balancing my life between study and activities, my management skills were put in to practice and greatly developed.
"Initially I planned to take a masters course after my graduation. However, I applied for a graduate intern position at the Business School and was offered my current job, Student Education Projects Assistant. I am based in the Professional Development Hub and provide support for the Business School Student Education team in the design and delivery of key projects, initiatives and activities. I find project management challenging but very interesting. I had some experience from previous society projects and now I am excited about gaining more training and being involved as a member of University staff."
In April 2015 Wilma received a Partnership award at Leeds University Union's Celebrate Week. She was awarded the Positive Impact Award for her outstanding contribution to the Business School over the course of her internship. She said of her experience: "I developed many professional skills, such as project management, event management, and IT. I also received numerous support and training, which helps me to get accustomed to the professional working environment. Another great highlight is that working with professional development tutors in the Hub helped me to develop my personal career plan and start making effort to realise it. I think the Positive Impact Award recognises students and staff like me for their effort to make the whole community a better place."
In March 2019, Wilma returned to the University to take part in a panel event as part of International Women's Day. Wilma shared her experiences of 'Life at Leeds' and shared tips and advice on making the most out of your student experience with current students.