MBA Takeover: Wenjun Niu, MBA 2011

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Wenjun Niu moved to England from China at the age of 16 to pursue higher education degrees in the U.K. After obtaining a First Class honors for her undergraduate degree in Mathematics in Southampton University, and a Masters in Statistics at Oxford University, Wenjun landed her first job in the London Headquarters of Willis Group (known as Willis Tower Watson today). After living in the UK for 11 years, she decided to go back to school to recharge as well as fulfill her desire of experiencing American culture. She says her fate was connected to the Carey Business School. Upon graduation, she returned to Beijing and worked in Commercial banking of HSBC Group. Two years later, she moved to Accenture as a management consultant, which opened her view to her professional path, and subsequently opened a door into the Lenovo Group. Wenjun is currently working as a project manager in Lenovo headquarters in Beijing.

Question: What advice would you give new graduates entering the workforce?
Answer: Put your best effort and all your enthusiasm into your first job (of course you should do so in all your subsequent jobs). Every job has its ups and downs, its excitement and boredom, and believe me, you will find something you like and something you hate in every job. The difference might lay on the fact that with some jobs you like 70% of it, but some you hate 70% of it. Your attitude towards your job is everything. Try not to complain how low your salary is in your early career, and try not to complain how much work your boss assigns to you. If you find yourself in constant complain and change, then likely you will end up in similar situations even if you changed jobs. Having consistent and accumulated experience in one area (either industry or function) is very important.

Question: What is one thing students should do while in school to prepare for a job?
Answer: Be thoughtful about your future, think what you want to do, what you are good at, what kind of jobs might not be a good fit to you. Have an objective to your future. You can do this through reading, building up your own networks, talking to people who have internship/work experience in different industries, talking to career coaches. And of course, try to secure internship opportunities in areas you are interested in.

Question: What is your favorite thing about your current job?
Answer: After switching (intentionally and unintentionally) a couple of jobs in different industries, facing ups and downs throughout my professional experiences, I am getting to know myself better in terms of my skills, what I am good at and what I might want to do. I know better how to cope with a negative event at work. At my current job, I can utilize the experience I accumulated in previous jobs, and I have a good team to work with. Even though it is hard work, good people and work flexibility make up for it.

Question: What was the most influential experience you had at Carey?
Answer: Classmates I got to know and friends I made at school. They mean a lot as part of my life. Also, I was quite active in seeking student work opportunities at school so I got to know some staff members. All of these connections make up a great memory of my time in Carey.

Question: What three words would you use to define your time at Carey?
Answers: Busy. Eye-opening. World-wide connection.

Caitlin Magidson

Caitlin works with students and alumni in Washington DC as a transformational Career Coach. She provides guidance around self-exploration, job search strategy, and networking through individualized coaching and professional development courses.

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