Thursday, February 27, 2014

2014 Asia Career Trek!

HNC Career Counselor, Robbie Shields, fills us in on the Asia Career Trek from earlier this month and gives us an update on future Career events:

"Greetings from Nanjing!

With spring semester having just begun, I wanted to take an opportunity to reflect on the recently completed SAIS Asia Career Trek while also looking forward to upcoming events at the Center.  

Over the winter holiday, SAIS Career Services Director Ron Lambert and I had the good fortune of accompanying 20 students from the HNC and SAIS to participate in the 7th Annual Asia Career Trek.  The Asia Career Trek is a week long educational experience, whereby students have the opportunity to travel to Shanghai and Hong Kong to meet with representatives from a variety of companies, including APCO, Wells Fargo, Bain, Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Deloitte to name a few.  While all the representatives offered unique experiences and backgrounds, one thing they all had in common was a commitment to helping students in their career development. 

The Trek began in Shanghai with a visit to Pudong to Wells Fargo to meet with Han Lin, Senior Vice President of Global Banking.  Mr. Lin is a SAIS alumnus who, prior to a career in finance, served both US Marine Corps and the Peace Corps.  His experience in China coupled with his natural gift as a teacher made for a fascinating presentation, which included discussion about issues surrounding the convertibility of China’s currency and how international banks operate within China. 

Following our meeting with Mr. Lin, we visited Nicobar, where HNC alumni Andrew Forrester and Matt Shernit hosted us to learn about working for a nuclear consulting company. Nicobar provides knowledge of China’s nuclear energy policies and regulations to North American and European companies looking to build facilities in China.  During their presentation, they presented us with information about the entire nuclear fuel cycle: from mining to disposal. 

Our next stop was to meet with HNC Alumnus Morgan Keldsen who works as the China/Asia Pacific Senior Product Business Director at Converse.  During this meeting, Mr. Keldsen showed us many exciting Converse products, such as customized converse all-stars that were made for pop stars.  Mr. Keldsen shared that he began his career in China in a hotel management-training program, just before he transitioned to Nike.  After spending many years with Nike, where he held positions like “GM for Basketball Asia/Pacific,” he came to Converse where he has been since 2008.  Mr. Keldsen epitomizes the advice he gave our students, which was to find what you enjoy and do it with passion.

HNC Students with HNC Alumnus, Morgan Keldson

After our visits on Monday, the Shanghai Alumni Club hosted Trek participants at T8 in Xintiandi.  During this reception, students had an opportunity to meet alumni and learn how they have been able to leverage their HNC education for various career paths.  Additionally, students got to see the Xintiandi site, which was developed by another Asia Trek host, Shui on Land. As we would learn in our visit to Shui on Land, the developers wanted to preserve the 19th century “shikumen” (stone gate) architecture in developing the site.  Today, it is one of China’s most fashionable and successful shopping districts and proved to be the perfect site for our alumni reception.

Following our visits in Shanghai, we flew to Hong Kong to begin the second leg of our Trek.  Our Hong Kong leg of the Trek was incredibly intense; 12 visits in three days.  Although all of the visits featured unique companies, one thing that was consistent was they all had hired alumni from the SAIS community.  Whether the company focuses on financial services, such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse, or media and public relations like APCO and the Economist, or Consulting such as Bain; all these organizations had members of the HNC and SAIS community serving in various positions.

Coming back to the Center, there are many exciting events coming up.  On March 14, we will hold our annual Career Day in Shanghai.  Career Day is a day-long career seminar where students participate in industry panels to learn about various fields and organizations, while establishing relationships with members of our alumni community and beyond.  That evening we will host an alumni reception for our alumni to network with one another, make new friends, and meet this year’s graduating class.

Shortly after Career Day, Beth Keck, the Senior Director of Women’s Economic Empowerment at Wal-Mart, will come to the Center to teach a course on Corporate Social Responsibility.  In addition to being a SAIS alumna, Ms. Keck is the keynote speaker for this year’s Career Day and has spent significant amount of time in China throughout her career, representing organizations such as Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration.

April’s arrival means spring break at the HNC.  During this time we’ll conduct the annual Beijing Trek, from April 1-4.  For this trek, we will bring 20 HNC students to Beijing to meet with employers largely focused in media, non-profit and, government.  Among the employers we’ll be visiting this year are Greenpeace, the Gates Foundation, the US-China Business Council, the US Embassy, and Weber Shandwick.  We will also have an opportunity to meet with our Beijing alumni community, who always knows how to make visitors from Nanjing feel welcome."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nanjing University

Nanjing University (NJU) is one of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in China. Nanjing University has been an invaluable partner in HNC’s joint venture. Originally established in 1902, NJU has had several names; from Sanjian Normal School to Lianjian Normal School to National Central University and finally, Nanjing University in 1950.  

NJU is comprised of three campuses – Gulou, Pukou and Xianlin. The Gulou campus (pictured above), home to the HNC campus, is located at the heart of Nanjing. The Pukou campus became a part of NJU in 1993 while the Xianlin campus recently opened in 2009 and is home to NJU’s undergraduate students.

Nanjing University prides itself in its international partnerships. In addition to the joint venture with Johns Hopkins University, Nanjing University cooperates with over 2000 universities in 70 different countries.

NJU has over 12,000 students in 78 different undergraduate programs and over 11,000 students in 200 different master’s program with over 1,000 international students.
NJU has an enriching student life culture. Student organizations including; Football Association, Model United Nation, Passion Dancing Organization and Skating Association.
Notable alumni of NJU include Guo Jinlong, the former Mayor of Beijing, Chen Deming, the former Minister of Commerce and Yang Jiechi, the former foreign minister of the PRC.

If you’d like to learn more about Nanjing University, visit their English website at

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reminder: 2014 Applicant Survey Deadline is Monday, February 24

This is a reminder that the 2014 applicant survey will close on Monday, February 24.  If you have not done so already, we ask that applicants take a few moments this weekend to help us evaluate the admissions process.  This ten minute survey will allow the admissions team to make improvements for future applicants.  This year's applicants should have received a link to the survey at the email address provided on your online application, but please contact us at if you need a new link.  Thank you for your assistance!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snowy Start to the Spring Semester

The spring semester at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center began yesterday following a five-week Chinese New Year break.  Students were welcomed back to Nanjing with snowy weather, but that didn't stop them from reuniting with fellow classmates in the Center's courtyard. 

Nanjing is located approximately on the same latitude as Atlanta, GA.  Its weather is similar to Atlanta’s in that summers are hot and humid, while winters are cold and damp.  The difference is that, with the exception of the Center, there are few places in Nanjing that are air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter. 
Best of luck to students in their spring semester classes!

Thomas Mao curls up inside his cozy courtyard house to keep warm

Thursday, February 13, 2014

HNC Admissions Office Closed Today

Due to the winter storm in DC, the HNC Office of International Admissions is closed today Thursday, February 13.  To all those affected by the snow, stay safe and warm!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Think Summer! SAIS Announces Summer Programs at HNC

SAIS is launching its first ever English-language graduate program in Nanjing from June 23 – July 31.  The six-week program is designed as an extension of current SAIS summer course offerings in Washington, D.C., building on the school’s longstanding partnership in China.  Students will live and study at HNC facilities with leading SAIS and HNC faculty, taking classes focused on the economic, political, and environmental dynamics of East Asia.

In addition to small, intensive courses, the program offers weekly guided excursions to historical and cultural destinations throughout the region.  Students can get to know Nanjing, spend a day in Hangzhou, and explore Shanghai for a weekend as a practical complement to SAIS classes.

SAIS Summer courses are open to rising undergraduate seniors and recent graduates, and can be a great introduction to life at HNC and the SAIS academic experience.  Credits from these courses can be applied toward an HNC or SAIS master’s degree, or can be transferred to a variety of graduate schools worldwide.

Interested in applying?  Visit the SAIS Summer Programs website for a complete list of available courses, application procedures, and additional program information.  Questions?  Contact the office directly by phone (202.663.5671) or email

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chinese New Year and Graduating! An Update from Natalie

Natalie Sammarco sends us a final blog post after completing her MAIS coursework and thesis:

"Our mid-year break for Chinese New Year is finally upon us! The past month was a whirlwind because I was finishing my thesis and completing paperwork for Nanjing University. Yet, now I’ve finally graduated! I feel so much better having it all done and seeing my classmates work so hard to complete their tests and papers means that we all deserve this long break.

Just after the term ended, a number of students went to Shanghai to spend a few days before departing for various destinations for vacation. Our career services administrator, Robbie Shields, organized the Asia Trek, which takes students from HNC and SAIS to visit companies in both Shanghai and Hong Kong for a week to introduce them to new industries. Included in this trek was an alumni event held in a posh area of Shanghai, called Xintiandi. In attending this event, I had a great time meeting current students and alums of HNC and SAIS DC.  I found the event to be great for networking, sharing stories, and making friends.

Now I am home in the US for Chinese New Year and will continue my job search here. One reason I’m glad I did the  HNC Certificate followed by the HNC MAIS program is because I am graduating mid-year. There are many opportunities this time of year and I’m glad I receive all the notices from SAIS and JHU. It’s been a fast and easy process getting in touch with companies both within the US and China. With any luck, I’ll be hired soon and that would be a great gift to receive for Chinese New Year. Happy Year of the Horse!"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2014 Chinese New Year Reception

Thank you to all students, alumni, and friends of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center who came out despite the weather to ring in the Year of the Horse!

The Chinese New Year Reception was co-hosted by the HNC Washington Office and SAIS China Studies.
Any Chinese New Year reception wouldn't be complete without tasty dumplings!

HNC alumni from the classes of 2009 to 2011 reconnect.
SAIS Dean Vali Nasr addressed the crowd.
SAIS Director of China Studies, Professor David Lampton, and HNC Career Counselor Robbie Shields gave remarks.

A good time was had by all.