Tuesday, February 24, 2015

An Interview with HNC Career Counselor Robbie Shields

Robbie Shields in Lijiang
It’s still winter break at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, so students, faculty, and staff are away from the HNC and traveling the world. We were fortunate to be able to sit down with HNC Career Counselor Robbie Shields while he was here in DC reconnecting with the SAIS Office of Career Services. 

What were the career services highlights from this past semester? 
We’ve had several highlights. First, the Asia Trek from January 18-23. During the Trek, 20 students (eight from SAIS Washington, two from SAIS Europe, and ten from HNC) went to Shanghai and Hong Kong to meet with employers of various industries and had a great experience. We had through-the-roof student evaluations and every participant said that they would recommend Asia Trek to other students. Employers visited during Asia Trek included Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Deloitte… it was the who’s who of different organizations. We also had fantastic alumni receptions in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Networking is all about developing relationships. There are not a lot of institutions who have the unique interests that our students and alums do. It’s professionally relevant for our students to talk to people who have similar interests and leverage that for career opportunities. 

Anthony Kuhn (HNC '92) of NPR speaks at HNC
A second highlight of the fall has been employer visits. We had a general basket of speakers, some very much with a focus on recruiting students. Visitors included Jim Heller (HNC ’91) of the US Embassy in Beijing, Min Chang of Omnicon Asia Pacific, Luke Treloar (HNC ’06) and Meng Meng (SAIS ’13) of KPMG, Deputy Assistant Secretary Frank Rose, and Anthony Kuhn (HNC ’92) of NPR, among others. 

A third highlight was a mini-course taught by Han Lin of Wells Fargo on US-China cross-cultural banking. It was a Saturday-Sunday course and was very popular among the students.  

What are you looking forward to once the spring semester begins in March? 
I’m looking forward to Career Day in Shanghai, the Beijing Trek, employer visits, and graduation.

Applicants will find out in March whether they’ve been admitted to the HNC. What advice do you have for incoming students? 
Students need to understand that China is not a career. It’s a country. Look at any industry: government, travel and tourism, energy and environment, financial services. It’s a fantastic time to invest in an education in China in relation to a career, but at the end of the day they still have to think about what they want to do with China, so that they have that knowledge of China plus something. To say you understand China, its culture, and language, that in and of itself is not enough to say it’s a career. What are you going to couple it with? 

What is your favorite place in Nanjing? 
My favorite spot is the Nanjing city wall. What a lot of people take for granted at the HNC is Nanjing’s importance in China’s history. That wall dates back to the Ming dynasty. That’s a cool thing about Nanjing. You can see the wall from throughout the city.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tonight's Chinese New Year Reception- Cancelled

Due to weather conditions in Washington today, the SAIS Washington campus is closed and tonight's Chinese New Year reception is cancelled.  We are sorry for an inconvenience and hope all those affected by the storm stay safe and warm.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Update for HNC Applicants

The hard part is done!  You've submitted your application to the HNC and now members of our Admissions Committee have their work cut out for them.  Below is a timeline of what you can expect over the next several weeks:  
  • In late February, we will be sending all applicants a short survey asking about your experiences working with our admissions office.  It would greatly help us if you could provide feedback and suggestions based on your application experience.
  • By mid-March, all applicants will receive their admissions decision.  Within 24 hours of receiving this decision, admitted students will receive their financial aid awards.  Both notifications will be sent by email.
  • Admitted students will then have about a month to make their decision whether to attend the HNC this fall.  During that month, we will be holding online chats as well as admitted student events in both Washington, DC and Nanjing.  For those not located in those cities, current HNC students will also be available by email to help you make an informed decision.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact nanjing@jhu.edu.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

HNC Study Break: Xuanwu Lake

The HNC Office of International Admissions is currently busy reading your applications and HNC students are all on winter break, but we hope you enjoy this post by HNC student Nanfei Yan on one of her favorite places to take a study-break this past semester:

Hi All,

It’s pretty easy for college students to fall into a cycle of dorm-classes-cafeteria-library. In order to break this cycle, I usually take a break and go to one of the scenic spots just a subway station away. About five minutes from Xuanwumen Station is Xianwu Lake. On this particular day, I was especially lucky to run into a Xinjiang food festival taking place just outside of the station. 

There were about a dozen stalls full of famous Xinjiang 小吃 (small, local snacks). Without a doubt, the star player was 羊肉串 (lamb skewers seasoned with spices such as chili powder, black pepper, and most importantly, cumin). The secret to tasty lamb skewers is the balance of fatty and lean meat. Over a hot grill, the fat sizzles and marries perfectly with the generous spices. Next to the long lines for these skewers were also stalls cooking up fresh 馕 (similar to flatbread), 抓饭 (similar to rice pilaf), and 大盘鸡 (big chicken stew). Across from the food stalls was an informal stage where traditional dance was taking place. The atmosphere was casual, as audience members joined in on several occasions. 

Dancing at the Xinjiang Food Festival
Lamb Chops at the Xinjiang Food Festival
After thoroughly enjoying the festivities, I made my way to the lake. Xuanwu Lake consists of a park (once an imperial garden) bordered by the Nanjing City Wall, preserved from its Ming Dynasty construction some 600 years ago when Nanjing was China’s capital city.

While it’s a popular activity to walk the Wall (as we did over Alumni Weekend), I prefer to simply stroll around the lake. On any particular day, the lake is full of joggers, newlyweds, and kite flyers. The entrance is usually lined with street peddlers hoping to attract the business of tourists. Beyond the gate, there are many beautiful gardens and open spaces which lend themselves to a variety of activities. Despite the cold weather, there were still many families and couples exploring the lake via boats. 

The setting sun offered excellent lighting for photographs. While they don’t do the park itself full justice, I do believe they capture the beauty of Xuanwu Lake’s peace and quiet. If only for a moment, it allowed me to take my mind off of papers, exams, and the world of US-China relations. At the same time, it’s moments like these that lift our heads out of the pages of academia and back to the experiences that attracted us to China in the first place.