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Letter from the Director Charles Laughlin, Director Dear IUPers: I'm writing you tonight from Washington D.C. to kick off this year's first IUP newsletter, and I think the 7th issue since I came on to IUP last year. I want to thank Vivian Li for taking the initiative to help put this issue together; I think she has done a terrific job! I'm in Washington for the first intensive set of meetings of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations' Public Intellectuals Program (PIP). I'm a member of the second cohort of 20 scholars in the second round of this two-year program, which brings political scientists, economists, historians, literature scholars, and non-academics working in the business and NGO worldsall of whom specialize in Chinatogether to explore ways to engage vigorously with
the communities beyond academia, especially the policy community and the general public, directly and through the media. This program is highly relevant to IUP: IUP's Executive Director Tom Gold and John Berninghausen, who established the Chinese program at Middlebury College, are on its Advisory board. At least three of the 20 fellows are IUP alumni, one of whom is a member of the IUP Board of Directors. More importantly, some of the distinguished figures we are meeting in Washington, such as Dave Shear, the Director of the State Department's China Desk, are also IUP alums. I write this to remind you that you are in good company in IUP, and that like other IUP alumni, you could also go far. Maybe not all of you will strive to become "public intellectuals," but you have the potential because of your unique combination of specialized expertise and advanced Chinese language ability, potential to bridge important gaps in an especially important era for U.S.-China relations. I hope the semester is going well for you, and I hope this newsletter is useful and informative. If you have any suggestions for how we can make it better, please let us know! Washington D.C. October 5, 2008 Inside:
| Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies ( IUP)
IUPeople Volume 2, Issue 1 October 2008
+ Update from Recent Alumnus
+ IUP Day Trip to Cuandixia
+ Teaching Chinese in the U.S.
The following is a modified version of an email sent to Professor Laughlin from Joel Backaler, IUP 2007-08:
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to update you about my post-graduation activities and to tell you more about the path I have taken to secure my current position at Atos Origin in Beijing. Most importantly, I am writing to express my gratitude to each one of you for your invaluable help over the course of my journey so far.
Post-Grad Initial Goals & Accomplishments:
I graduated from college in May 2006 determined to prepare myself to conduct business in China without relying on translators. To attain this goal I have spent the past two years in Asia, first as a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan, and then as a full-time student at the IUP Center at Beijing's Tsinghua University, the world's most prestigious advanced Chinese language training center.
By spring 2008 I met my goal of achieving business Chinese fluency and assembled a resume I am very proud of. At that point I faced two major challenges: first, to secure a full-time consulting position; second, to obtain a work visa.
Finding a Job
For a three-month period I drank coffee with any business professional willing to talk to me, and attended every networking event in Beijing from American Chamber of Commerce mixers to Yale Club Beijing Sunday brunches. If I found out a potential employer wrote a blog, I made a point to follow their
writing and post several comments weekly, never forgetting to include my name and contact information at the bottom of each post. There were even times when I walked directly into a company's office wearing a suit and tie with nothing but my resume in hand, a smile on my face, and the name of a manager that I found while researching the company on the internet.
In the end, every single one of these tactics worked at least once. I received offers from some of the biggest multinationals as well as several China-focused boutique consultancies. I decided to accept a highly selective summer internship with Accenture (www.accenture.com) in Beijing followed by a full-time position at Atos Origin (www.atosorigin.com) in the fall, also based in Beijing.
My Current Position:
Atos Origin holds the world's largest sports-related IT contract as a global IT partner and top sponsor for the Olympic Games. I currently work as the only non-Chinese analyst for Atos Consulting's financial transformation division in Beijing. Our main focus is restructuring poorly-run Chinese state-owned enterprises to the point where they are financially healthy enough to be listed on overseas stock exchanges.
It took invaluable help from each of you to get me to this point in my career. I want to offer a special thanks to Peter in Beijing, James in Taipei and especially Marc in Boston. The three of you have been wonderful mentors to me. I truly appreciate everyone's continued support and guidance. It will take all of your insight and advice to help me succeed as a businessman in the China marketplace.
Mark Your Calendars! IUP Fall Trip to Luoyang October 17-20 IUP Lecture Series: Lila Buckley On Wednesday, October 29, IUPs own Lila Buckley will discuss environmental NGOs in China IUP Lecture Series: CHEN Dong On Thursday, October 30, Beijing Universitys (PhD Indiana U.) economics professor Chen Dong will talk about Chinas current economic situation
Cuandixia Village ()
2007 9 2008 5IUP
IUP IUP IUP
On September 13, IUPers visited Cuandixia, an old village outside Beijing
Annie Jonas, Charles Laughlin, Liu Yuming, Justin Knapp, & Sharon Nakhimovsky enjoy the fresh mountain air after the successful hike up
Ben Roth & Alan Gaskill serenade the teachers on the bus ride back
The IUPeople Newsletter is published monthly by the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies. Wen Bei Lou, 502, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China 100084.
Visit us on the web at: http://ieas.berkeley.edu/iup Editor-in-chief: Charles Laughlin Managing Editor: Vivian Li
A Night of Murderball by Robert OBrien
On September 16, a spirited group of nearly 30 IUP students, alumni and friends attended the gold and bronze medal wheelchair rugby matches of the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. Having already watched Murderball, an award-winning 2005 documentary on Team USAs participation in the Athens Paralympic wheelchair rugby finals, the IUP crew arrived at Beijing Science & Technology Universitys gymnasium well-prepared for the combination of grace and brutality that defines the sport. Neither the games nor the atmosphere disappointed, as the furious pace of the contest was matched only by the raucousness of the crowd. IUPers more than did their part to cheer on the athletes, donning patriotic attire and orchestrating many a group cheer. A few crazed fans even removed their shirts, painted the characters on their chests, and riled up the fans with large group chants. Thankfully, America did not let down the many supporters they had in attendance, taking home the gold in impressive fashion, scoring 53 goals to Australias 44.
Following the conclusion of the medal ceremony, many IUPers stuck around to meet the U.S. squad, a group who turned out to be quite cordial and grateful for the support of their adoring fans. With
to memorize and to study, everyone headed home around 11 p.m. satisfied with the outcome of the event and inspired by the courage and skill displayed by those who participated in it.
Wheelchair Gladiators: Will Groulx (Team USA, #10) yells in agony after having just fallen a few centimeters short from crossing the goal line during the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Gold Medal Match
Adding Oil: Bobby OBrien, Ben Roth, Alex Wald, Jared Glanzberger, and Charles Loi cheer Team USA on to victory
Qie zi!: Enthused group of compatriots pose in front of gymnasium
: Genevieve C