By Lauren Wallace
Xi (Hana) Wu, a second year exchange student at Darden last fall, is originally from Jilin, China. She received her Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature from Shanghai International Studies University in 2010 and previously worked in marketing. Hana goes to China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai and is studying at Darden for the 2016 fall semester. While at Darden, Hana was involved with the Asia Business Club at Darden (ABCD) and the General Management & Operations Club (GMO) and took a few minutes to share her reflections on her time in Charlottesville thus far:
Even before becoming a student at CEIBS—one of Darden’s partner schools—Hana Wu heard of Darden. In her search for graduate business schools, Hana researched various top business schools around the world, particularly those with a reputation for a small, welcoming community, and discovered Darden during that initial search. Later on, after getting married and deciding to stay in China, Hana enrolled at CEIBS and was able to fulfill her dream of visiting Darden through both a CEIBS international partner program to Darden during her first year and the exchange program during her second year. She is now over halfway through her time here in Charlottesville on exchange.
“I have been very, very impressed with Darden,” Hana claims. “The teachers put a lot of effort into [their] students by providing individualized feedback on assignments,” conveying real-life business situations through utilizing the case-method approach, and bringing in high-level guest speakers into classes and forums. Beyond the faculty, Hana has also been very thankful for Darden’s curriculum. Hana described that the case method approach allows for a “better understanding of a genuine business environment by weaving strategy, corporate relations, finance, and various other aspects of business and into one class.” Hana has appreciated the multiple occasions on which guest speakers—some of whose businesses have been the subjects of assigned case studies—have surprised her classes with a visit.
In December 2015, Hana participated in CGI’s week-long international partner program with CEIBS hosted in Charlottesville. Because of that program, Hana confirmed her desire to study abroad at Darden as an exchange student and has enjoyed the transition to life in Charlottesville. “People enjoy life here and are very friendly,” she described, “and the sky is bluer!” Hana plans on telling her peers back at CEIBS to do the exchange program as well because of her positive experience. “I wish it were a full year program! I really enjoy the Darden network…it’s warm and welcoming. I want to pay Darden back!”
After finishing her last semester of business school here at Darden, Hana will be working with 3M in China in a two-year corporate strategy role and hopes to someday become a general manager for a Chinese corporation. She describes her Darden experience as a “life with adventure” and is so glad she “saved the best for last!”