Tag: Specialized Masters



It’s a familiar tune by now: We can’t host this annual event in person, so what do we do? Can we even have it virtually? What are we going to do?

Those were all questions Jackie Carter, Diversity & Inclusion Programs Manager, and WashU Olin’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee asked as they began to prepare for the sixth annual Diversity & Inclusion Expo. Typically held during the dean’s welcome back event, the expo brings together groups from Olin and throughout the university to showcase resources and ways students, faculty members or staff members can get involved with multicultural, justice and equity efforts.

Carter and her team’s decision ultimately came down to the importance of such an event for the WashU Olin community: “Diversity, equity inclusion work is not one-person work, and it’s not about just having affinity groups,” she said. And this experience was an opportunity to showcase the depth and the value of diversity and inclusion at Olin.

Over the course of 90 minutes, 18 groups opened Zoom meeting spaces as faculty, staff and students visited and learned about the resources and clubs they can get involved with.

For Carter, the annual expo is an important space for students, faculty and staff to bring their beginning-of-the-year energy and enthusiasm to get involved and learn about opportunities and resources they might not know about.

And for those who attended, that’s exactly what they got. Staff and students reflected on the experience:

“ I learned that the creation of space for faculty and staff voices to be heard came from years of them being silenced and not being heard. Finally the administration realized that faculty and staff needed to be brought to the table, especially concerning HR issues and issues that are inherently unique to that population. It was good to know that faculty and staff are being thought about. In my previous position, that didn’t exist. Without a diverse workplace, diverse ideas and thoughts can’t emerge.” Leia Burroughs, event specialist, graduate programs

“I had the chance to talk to undergraduate students who wanted to know how to engage with the Latin American community in St. Louis. It was refreshing to see people who wanted to connect, share interests and keep a positive attitude.” Gabriel Samanez, MBA ’21, president, Latin American Business Association

“The Diversity and Inclusion Expo was a great opportunity to connect with students and faculty to share our plans for D&I work this year, and learn about what others are doing as well. We’re looking forward to partnering with other groups on campus to host events throughout the year that champion diversity and inclusion efforts.” Alex Halfpap, MBA ’21, president, Olin Women in Business

“In times like these, Olin Black is a space for dialogue and action. We were excited to meet students and staff who are just as passionate about Olin Black’s mission as much as we are. In an hour and 30 minutes we were able to converse with admission personnel, recruiting coaches, and students who want to create a meaningful inclusive and diverse Olin.” Fanta Kaba and Déjá Miles, officers, Olin Black MBA Association

“We showed our determination to continue the tradition of diversity at the Greater China Club.” Lin Cheng, MBA ’21, vice president, Greater China Club

“I think this event was valuable because we are surrounded by diversity in our community and it’s our responsibility to keep pushing the needle in ensuring we are living equitable lives. The D&I expo helped to bring us together and showed that students in the community are committed to growing into well-rounded leaders who would acknowledge the diverse perspectives around them while creating an environment for equity and justice to thrive.” Itohan Enadeghe, co-president, Olin Africa Business Club


Though this year’s event looked and felt different than previous years,  Carter is pleased with the results—though she knows this event is just the beginning each year of developing relationships with students, faculty and staff who are determined to embrace diversity and inclusion.

“My hope for WashU Olin is that we can be a place of true inclusion and belonging. That regardless of my race, my background, my gender, I’ll feel a part of it,” she said.

“And that we can all understand that equality isn’t something being taken away from someone else. If I make something better for someone else, it makes the whole better.”  




Danielle Bateman Girondo, BSBA

Eight years ago, St. Louis’s Midwest BankCentre opened a branch in Pagedale, a suburb with a median household income of $27,000—about 40% of the entire region’s median. Five years later, the bank opened a branch inside a North St. Louis Baptist church, in a neighborhood with a median household income of about $31,400.

Serving underbanked communities serves as part of the bank’s mission as a values-based organization, but Danielle Bateman Girondo, BSBA ’00, executive vice president of marketing, and Alex Fennoy, executive vice president of Community and Economic Development, wanted to go further. They wanted to make the case that it was also good business.

They found their answer from a semester-long practicum project through Olin’s Center for Experiential Learning. With faculty support from Sam Chun, professor of management practice, the students—Chris Colon, AB ’20; Frankie Hong, MSFQ ’20; Hannah Levin, MBA/MSW ’21; Lin Xie, MSBA’20; and Bruno Moreira Yamamura, MBA ’20—delivered their findings in May.

Midwest BankCentre’s two branches in underserved areas had created $11.3 million in additional regional revenue and more than $9.7 million in consumer wealth—as well as 124 new jobs in the region.

“It was great to be able to make the business case for why we need to make more investments in providing access to capital to all communities,” Girondo said. “We’re doing good and here’s the proof. It’s not just us saying it.”

Quantifying the ripple effect

Bringing full-service banking to traditionally underbanked communities doesn’t only serve Midwest’s community development goals. Girondo noted that it also helps differentiate the bank in a crowded marketplace. In its 2018 report to the community, Midwest noted, “With more than 130 banks and credit unions, St. Louis is one of the most overbanked cities in the country—but those services are not distributed evenly.”

The CEL team for Midwest BankCentre

Providing access to checking or savings accounts or other banking services creates a ripple effect, opening opportunities to provide financial education and offer loans that spur homeownership, business development and employment.

“It really struck me to learn how important the access to financial resources can be for households,” Hong said of the project, which was quintessentially aligned with Olin’s strategy of promoting values-based, data-driven decision-making.

“Midwest BankCentre really emphasized to us the ways in which they prioritized building trust in the community and the importance in doing so,” Levin added.

After an initial in-person meeting with bank leadership before the pandemic moved everything online, the students tackled the project by exploring ways to quantify the effect of adding banking services to an underbanked community.

“All we knew was that Midwest BankCentre was, somehow, having a positive impact in the community,” Yamamura said. “One of the biggest challenges that we faced was how to translate that into numbers.”

Data supporting values

Chun guided the students to a few existing economic measurement models, and he urged them to remember that precise numbers were not the goal of the exercise. It was about understanding on a macro level the impact of the service in the community. Chun credited the team with identifying additional modeling research on their own that they could tap and adapt as they analyzed Midwest BankCentre’s product matrix and account data.

Bruno said the team was able to construct models to interpret the strategy the bank has always implemented by investing money from the communities back to the communities.

Yamamura said one of the models calculated how Midwest’s loans were stimulating the local economy by generating more jobs and income for the population through a “multiplier effect.”

“The models are far from being perfect,” he said. “But I think they are powerful in supporting the bank’s message and its core values.”

Midwest BankCentre, the second-largest privately owned bank in the region, is a 114-year-old St. Louis institution with more than $2 billion in assets.

“The team was really inventive,” Chun said. “They put their hands in there and they created models of mortgage impact, financial training impact. I was really impressed.”

So was Girondo. “I was beyond impressed with the students,” Girondo said. “They did a really good job.”

Pictured above: Danielle Bateman Girondo, BSBA ’00, and Alex Fennoy of Midwest BankCentre.




When the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn caused internship cancellations, WashU Olin and the Center for Experiential Learning stepped up to provide summer learning opportunities for students while supporting St. Louis-based businesses. We’ll be sharing their stories on the Olin Blog. Today, we’ll hear from Ally Gerard, BSBA ’22, who worked on competitive analysis for Institutiform Technology.

The late playwright Jonathan Larson wrote, “The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.” In the face of adversity and these times of tribulation, it isn’t enough to sit idly by and accept our circumstances. We must constantly create opportunity and value for ourselves and for others. 

Ally Gerard

Larson’s words rang ever so true this summer of 2020, and I truly have the WashU and St. Louis communities to thank for that. 

In April, on the eve of spring semester reading week, I lost my maternal grandmother to a nearly 30-year battle with breast cancer. My family was devastated. To make matters worse, several days later, I received official news that my summer internship program was canceled due to uncertainties of the pandemic and the future of professional sports seasons. 

So much stability, so many plans were ripped out from underneath me, and I had to pivot. When I heard about the CEL summer program, it just felt meant to be. 

I was coming off a spring semester in the Small Business Initiative and had a great experience participating in that course and leading that team. I enjoyed the client communication and collaboration, as well as the opportunity to apply my Olin education to real-life business situations in the St. Louis community. That being said, I came into this summer experience with high expectations because, at this point, I knew the CEL well and really trusted the professors leading the charge on this summer initiative. 

Unsurprisingly, it did meet those high expectations. Maybe I just lucked out with the most amazing and supportive teammates, client and faculty advisor, but I really just consider that a testament to the unparalleled community Olin has fostered over the years.

This summer, I had the pleasure of leading the student team of Zach Fisher, BSBA ’22; Helen Hu, MS ’20; and Yiqiao Wang, MS ’20; with guidance from Professor John Horn. Our group consulted for Insituform Technologies, a subsidiary of Aegion Corporation. Insituform specializes in pipeline installation and rehabilitation, offering its renowned cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) technology across numerous North American regions. 

Throughout the seven-week engagement, our group conducted regional competitive analyses to understand Insituform’s bid performance, bid aggressiveness, and competitive threats on the regional level. We also evaluated how certain elements of a project (such as pipe diameter and prime-contractor or subcontractor roles) affected Insituform’s win percentage for these municipality bids.

All this research built up to our final deliverable, which was an Excel model that predicted the project backlog of one of Insituform’s largest national competitors. It was a very complex, data-heavy undertaking; however, we were able to create a functional model that will be of benefit to Insituform’s competitive strategy moving forward. 

However, tragedy hit again just two days before our final presentation, when I received news that my maternal grandfather passed away from an unexpected heart attack. I actually found out during a CEL team meeting. It was a true shock and incredibly overwhelming to grapple with while preparing to present our final findings to the client. 

Despite the emotional obstacle, I will never forget the immense love and support I received from my student team, our faculty advisor, and our program manager Amy Soell. They gave me strength and made me so proud, again, to be an Olin student.

Life handed me a basketful of lemons this summer, and the CEL really helped facilitate a transformative lemonade-making process. I will always be thankful to Olin for innovating and executing this unforgettable professional learning opportunity, and I look forward to reconnecting with my teammates and faculty advisor in the fall!




Richard Xie (BSBA ’23) received an honorable mention in the 2019-2020 Dean James E. McLeod First-Year Writing Prize for his essay, “Campus Diversity: Chinese International Students amid American Exceptionalism.” Xie was one of more than 100 entries. This is the first year the award is open to non-Arts & Sciences students, and the sixth year the competition has been held. A ceremony will be held in the fall to honor Xie and the other winners. Xie’s essay follows in its entirety.

Campus Diversity: Chinese International Students Amid American Exceptionalism

In 2018, Chinese international students[1] accounted for roughly 30% of all international student population in American colleges (Han), which makes this group the largest among all international students. Correspondingly, Chinese students, through tuition fees, room and board, and other consumptions, contribute an equal proportion to American GDP, approximately 9.8 billion dollars (Barta et al.). Despite coming in large numbers, however, this group of students does not seem to integrate very well in American society. Abelmann and Kang’s research on media portrayal of Chinese students highlights media’s negative reception of the students (385), and Heng’s research emphasizes that Chinese students feel un-welcomed and misunderstood by Americans (841). Perhaps the strongest evidence comes from Cheung & Xu’s research on Chinese students’ intention to return to China after graduation. Their results suggest that Chinese students who choose to stay in America do so because of better career development, and consider political and social factors far less significant as reasons to stay in the US (1619).

In some ways, these data seem to suggest that Chinese students come to the US mainly for financial benefit and professional skill development, and not for loftier ideals such as learning from the democratic system or the practice of free speech. Indeed, that is the rhetoric of certain media reports who portray the majority of Chinese students as passive diploma-seekers who, in return for their money spent on tuition, want only the coveted overseas diploma and work experience, and are hence uninterested in learning from the American values and political mechanisms. However, such narratives not only devalue Chinese higher education as inferior to that of the US, but also manifest a narrow perspective which says that the students from China come to the US for financial gains only (Abelmann & Kang, 392).

Unfortunately, when stories with a single perspective like “the Chinese are not interested in American culture” are told repeatedly, they tend to become facts. The American students who believe in this narrative will view their Chinese peers with prejudices they may not even know they have. In the words of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie, such a single story eliminates the possibility of a fair, well-rounded representation of the Chinese students. It ignores, as so many single stories do, another perspective which is the possibility that the Chinese may have come to the US with open minds, ready to embrace and learn from the American culture; yet they do not feel accepted, and find their values and belief systems underappreciated. As a result, they do not prefer the American society over that of China. While there may be other reasons that Americans overlook this possibility and instead opting for the “profit-seeking Chinese” model, this essay focuses on the argument that it is the belief in American culture’s superiority over all others that induce this single narrative. This argument is introduced as American exceptionalism by Suspitsyna and Shalka in their research (299); in essence, American students who hold this unconscious mentality may portray the Chinese difference in a negative light, and alienate those who seem unable to conform. Such beliefs limit the Chinese students’ expression of talent and skill because it does not foster a positive environment where their differences are valued.

Evidence of this belief can be found in previous research done on how American media reports view the Chinese students. Suspitsyna and Shalka’s extensive research focus on articles relating to Chinese international students that have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education (“the CHE”). Their work filtering through four years’ worth of the academic newspaper echo Abelmann and Kang’s finding that the US media tend to describe China and its citizens in a binary fashion (293). In one instant, the media portrays the Chinese students as beneficial to the US as a profitable market and friendly to American values, and in another the same demographic is seen as fraudulent in applications to college and a threat to the organization of US society. Ruble and Zhang, in their research, posit that the lack of real-life interactions makes it hard for Americans to learn much about the Chinese. With what little, and often exaggerated, information they have from the media, American students cannot possibly know all the fine nuances of the Chinese culture and learn about them as equal humans. As a result, American students can only assign various characteristics, or stereotypes, to people from that particular group (Ruble and Zhang, 32). Therefore, as Abelmann and Kang aptly put into words, “[the Chinese are] ‘superior and inferior’ to Americans but never comparable.” (385) This view of Chinese people puts the demographic on either end of the spectrum, yet it is quite unlikely that the Chinese culture is superior or inferior to the American in every way. However, the binary stereotypes constructed by the media are powerful enough to induce Americans to see the entire Chinese population in very narrow ways.

Further, Suspitsyna and Shalka argue that these views are mainly negative ones, a view in accord with Ruble and Zhang’s research, which indicates that negative stereotypes pacify human anxiety when interacting with a new culture (32). They raise the example of the stereotype of Asians being the “model minority,” a title that is deceivingly complimentary: although generally seen as equally successful, the Asian minority is not generally perceived equal in status by the white majority. This stereotype exists, Suspitsyna and Shalka argue (291), to highlight the attempt at imitating the American way of life. Jamaican sociologist Stewart Hall, in his lecture Negotiating Caribbean Identities, establish a similar point: the guest minority often attempt to assimilate to the host majority and can get very close without succeeding, that is, to be a part of the host culture (8). This imitation, however, serves to signify the superiority of the host culture, and by emphasizing the Chinese choosing to study in the US in increasing numbers, the media intends to elevate American superiority in education.

To give a more concrete idea of how much American exceptionalism is prevalent around where this paper is written, the author sent out a survey to American students at Washington University. From 38 responses, the survey seeks to gauge several indicators relating to stereotypes, attribution of causes to differences that exist between the groups, and overall implicit American exceptionalism from an American perspective taken on average.

First, the survey asks the participants to assign identity to stereotypes. By constructing two fictional characters Lily and Tiana, the survey gives them contrasting, stereotypical personalities. Lily is quiet in class, socially withdrawn, and congregates with Chinese students, while Tiana is more engaged both in class and socially, and congregates with American students. Participants, who are all American, clearly identify Lily as Chinese and Tiana as American, and believe that Tiana has a more pronounced American identity than Lily has a Chinese identity.

(1 = very unlikely, 5 = very likely, n = 38)

Lily is ChineseLily is AmericanTiana is ChineseTiana is American
4.052.081.974.22

These results show that the average American student at Washington University agree with the stereotype of a disengaged Chinese student. This conclusion is further supported when the same participants are asked specifically on each trait: class participation and social cohorts.

(1 = very rare, 5 = very frequent, n = 38)

Chinese students in-class participationChinese students socialize with American studentsChinese students socialize with Chinese students
2.322.034.51

These results agree with the general stereotype above, which indicates American students at Washington University perceive Chinese students to be relatively quiet in class and self-congregating.

Based on the participants’ stereotypes, the author then measures to what degree the students at Washington University may possess American exceptionalism. The author does this in two separate ways: first, the survey asks if participants believe it is Lily, the Chinese stereotype, or Tiana, the American stereotype, whose behavior ought to change in order to promote diversity on campus. The author posits that if participants possess higher degrees of American exceptionalism, then as they believe American behavior is superior, participants will choose to change Lily’s behavior over Tiana’s, and that is indeed what it is found.

(1 = very unhelpful, 5 = very helpful, n = 38)

Chinese change behavior for diversityAmerican change behavior for diversity
3.812.89

Therefore, the results suggest that participants believe the Chinese have greater responsibility in changing their behavior to promote diversity. This is in close accordance with one article investigated by Suspitsyna and Shalka in the CHE. In the article called Selecting the Right Chinese Students by Jiang, the author argues that American universities ought to choose Chinese students who can contribute to a “thriving” campus community over those who present tangible differences. It is this similar call for acculturating to the US with the belief that the American way is superior that led to students who believe they do not need to change; it is the foreigners who should change in order to become more like Americans. Chinese students, who are new to the country, may find it hard to adapt straightaway, and may thus be marginalized and their talents nowhere to be expressed.

The second way the author measures American exceptionalism is through asking participants to attribute the difference to different skill levels of communication and cultural differences. The logic behind these two questions is that it is assumed that because American exceptionalism does not believe other cultures are equal but different, it is impossible to think that differences can be attributed to a different culture. In the eyes of American exceptionalism, American culture is the singular one existing. It is a lack of knowledge of the existence of other equally rich cultures that leads believers of American exceptionalism to conclude that any differences must be based on the same American cultural basis, yet derived from individual deficiencies. And that is indeed the case here.

(1 = very unlikely, 5 = very likely, n = 38)

Difference due to communication skillsDifference due to cultural differences
4.143.57

The difference exists; it is slight, however, indicating that Washington University students in general carry some cultural blindness, but are aware that other equal cultures other than American exists.

My research shows that American students at Washington University, overall, carry the stereotypes that are common to many American college students (Heng, 23; Ruble and Zhang, 32), and they have traces of American exceptionalism as defined in this paper. They are not extreme in their stereotypes and beliefs, indicating that they are aware of differences of cultures. Nonetheless, the belief that differences are due to deficiencies, as well as the expectation for Chinese students to acculturate, contribute to a decrease in the minority’s willingness to communicate, and thus both parties do not realize the potential of an international exchange.

Now, both previous and my research shows that Chinese students, though seen as hardworking and smart, are not very outspoken (Suspitsyna and Shalka 291; Abelmann and Kang, 388; Ruble and Zhang, 32). This can be understood as Chinese students arrive at a completely new and different cultural environment. It is natural that, when faced with a challenging new environment, people are more hesitant to reach out due to perceived unpredictability and anxiety (Ruble and Zhang, 31). As Heng’s research states,

As [one Chinese international student] confided, ‘often times, we are really shy and afraid of a new environment, and we do not know how to initiate a conversation. If people can take the initiative, that would be really helpful.’ [Another Chinese student] also explained that her reservation in asking host peers out stemmed from a fear of rejection: ‘I do not know what are Americans’ thoughts of Chinese. They may think your English is bad so communicating with you is hard…. They may wonder: Why should I play with you, Asians?’ (Heng, 842)

Therefore, Chinese students who are new to America often lack the knowledge necessary to build successful social communication, and are likely to be less confident about themselves.

One way the Chinese students have been building their confidence is through the formation of ethnic enclaves. Such enclaves are usually believed by the majority as closed-off, secret societies that are hard to keep track of, and may present a threat to them. As a result, enclaves are typically portrayed as detrimental to the facilitation of diversity and are not worth investigating (Chen and Ross, 155). In Chen and Ross’s research on Chinese enclaves in American higher education, however, they examine deeply into the activities of the enclaves, and discover that it acts as a safe base from which Chinese newcomers can then choose to branch out of (167). According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, after satisfying one’s physiological needs (needs for food and shelter), one looks to satisfy the needs of love and belonging. These needs are characterized by friendship and family. To Chinese students who are new to the American culture and college campuses, therefore, their most immediate and comfortable source of companionship and family most likely come from other Chinese students (Chen and Ross, 168).

As a result, by providing such psychological basis for new Chinese students, enclaves effectively satisfy these students’ psychological needs. According to Maslow, only once the psychological needs are satisfied, that is, only once people feel supported and belonged, will they go on to look for achievement in the general sense (in classes, in social relationships); they will also now look for respect from other people. So the enclaves prepare the students as they are now equipped to go on further and explore the strange world that is the American campuses. To further illustrate this point, Mallinckrodt and Wang, in their paper Acculturation… of Chinese/Taiwanese International Students, interprets Ainsworth’s famous “Strange Situation” experiment and concludes that people who are more securely attached, that is, people who have a more stable and strong relationship with a safe haven, are likely to explore strange environments more extensively (421). In this analogy, then, strong ties to ethnic enclaves enable Chinese students to explore and better expose American students to their unique values.

Another way with which Chinese students can build their confidence is through serious leisure activities, according to Lee, Sung, Zhou, and Lee’s research. Such activities, which are time-consuming and organized, help participants hone their skills and meet similar hobbyists, thereby building a sustainable social network. An example of serious leisure activities taken up by Chinese students at American colleges is intramural sports. Members of intramural sports teams often share information actively outside of the sports context, which helps to build a small circle of friends. This circle of friends then is able to provide social support, which is shown to be significant in school adaptation, both academically and socially (Lee, Sung, Zhou, and Lee, 203).

Therefore, this paper seeks to assert several interrelated points. Going back to the start of the paper, it is shown that American exceptionalism, the belief that the American way of life is the best in the world, ignores other cultures that are equal in quality yet different and hence hinders learning when they meet, as it happens on American college campuses between Chinese international students and local students. It follows that, to facilitate diversity is not to promote homogeneity and adherence to the host culture, but to effectively encourage local students to recognize the value in other cultures and promote them to accept differences and inquire about them instead of ignoring them.

Chinese international students, as newcomers to the US, often require psychological assistance, and such assistance may be procured from fellow Chinese students in ethnic enclaves established on campus. Such enclaves often succeed in building a family and giving a sense of belonging to the international students, which builds confidence for them to explore the new setting.

Ethnic enclaves are not the only solution to address Chinese students’ needs in the US. There are other viable options such as intramural sports and group work in classes. As the overall organizing and governing body, the universities have the capability to give the new Chinese students something beyond the physiological needs. New students are often shy and self-conscious, hence a sense of belonging is significant in helping them become comfortable with who they are so that they are more confident expressing their differences. It is emphasized once more that differences represent value, not deficiencies. And it is through supportive networks and atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement that the value will be given its chance to improve campus diversity.

Works Cited

Abelmann, Nancy and Kang, Jiyeon. “A Fraught Exchange? U.S. Media on Chinese International Undergraduates and the American University.” Journal of Studies in International Education, Vol. 18(4) 382–397, European Association for International Education, 2014.

Barta, Patrick, et al. “How International Students Are Changing U.S. Colleges.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 2014, graphics.wsj.com/international- students/.

Chen, Yajing and Ross, Heidi. “‘Creating a Home away from Home’: Chinese Undergraduate Student Enclaves in US Higher Education.” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 3/2015: 155–181

Cheung, Alan Chi Keung and Xu, Li. “To return or not to return: examining the return intentions of mainland Chinese students studying at elite universities in the United States”. Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 40, No. 9, 1605–1624, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2014.899337

Han, Shu. “Number of Chinese Students in the U.S. 2019.” Statista, 28 Nov. 2019, www.statista.com/statistics/372900/number-of-chinese-students-that-study-in-the-us/.

Lee, Chungsup and Sung, Yoon-Tae and Zhou, Yilun and Lee, Sunwoo. “The relationships between the seriousness of leisure activities, social support and school adaptation among Asian international students in the U.S.” Leisure Studies, 37:2, 197-210, DOI: 10.1080/02614367.2017.1339289

Mallinckrodt, Brent and Wang, Chia-Chih DC. “Acculturation, Attachment, and Psychosocial Adjustment of Chinese/Taiwanese International Students.” Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 53, No. 4, 422–433, 2006.

Ruble, Rachel A. and Zhang, Yan Bing. “The Impact of Stereotypes on American Students’ Willingness to Communicate with Chinese International Students.” The Bulletin, 2012

Suspitsyna, Tatiana and Shalka, Tricia R. “The Chinese International Student as a (Post) Colonial Other: An Analysis of Cultural Representations of a US Media Discourse.” The Review of Higher Education, Volume 42, Supplement 2019, pp. 287-308, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019.

Heng, Tang T. “Different is not deficient: contradicting stereotypes of Chinese international students in US higher education.” Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 43, No. 1, 22–36, 2018.

Heng, Tang T. “Voices of Chinese international students in USA colleges: ‘I want to tell them that…’”. Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 42, No. 5, 833–850, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2017.1293873


[1] I will use the terms “Chinese international student” and “Chinese student” interchangeably in this paper to denote a college student born in the PRC and studies now in the US.

An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly spelled Tang Heng’s name. We regret the error.




Olin alumna Ye (Alex) Jin, MACC ’18, placed in the top six proposals from top universities and won the Best Innovations Award in the 2020 UBS China Wealth Management Business Case Challenge.

Jin’s win was announced on July 1 in a virtual awards recognition ceremony. Her proposal was one of more than 200 submissions.

The UBS China Wealth and Asset Management organization housed in China brought together students from top global universities throughout the world and encouraged them to tackle one of two proposed problems. Jin placed in the top three of her chosen problem:


“Suppose you’re a client advisor in the UBS wealth management team. How would you manage your client’s USD 2 million assets based on medium- and long-term investment objectives?”

Throughout the online competition, Jin learned to use UBS’s framework to create a financial profile for her theoretical client, reflecting on the particularities of the wealth management industry in China and experiencing a global perspective for wealth allocation. Jin had two weeks to create and present her solution.

Jin knew competing in this challenge would give her an experience she couldn’t get elsewhere. While she had a strong background in global marketing and accounting, this gave her the opportunity to see the Chinese markets first-hand.

“It was a great learning opportunity,” Jin reflected. “It pushed me to learn more about career options in this field, and it showed me the bright future of the wealth management industry in China.”

Jin credits her focus on visualization, details, innovation and feasibility for her win—from presenting within the brand guidelines UBS would use with a traditional client to fully considering risk levels and objectives.

Olin values this opportunity for our students and young alum to study China’s market from a unique view of UBS, which is a key player in the wealth management industry. WashU and Olin has dedicated resources to bridge students/alumni with global learning and career development opportunities. We welcome and look forward to continuing working with UBS and other top firms in China.