China Center Hosts Career Planning Panel for Chinese International Students

Tianyi Liu, Hanna Wang
April 20, 2021

On March 10, 2021, the Columbia China Center for Social Policy organized a career planning panel of alumni and current students to share their experiences in applying for jobs and pursuing doctoral studies with Chinese international students at the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW). Speakers included alumna Shu Zeng, doctoral student Yifan Lou, and master’s students Yingning Wang and Jingzhuo Zhang. Second-year student Tianyi (Kristen) Liu served as the moderator.

Tianyi Liu opened the event by outlining the different career paths in China and the US usually pursued by graduates. For each of these career paths, Tianyi provided an overview of the timetable, licensing and other logistical considerations, and available resources. She then invited panelists to share their experiences and advice with other participants.

Shu Zeng (CSSW ’18) is currently a Development Director at Community Counseling and Mediation. She emphasized the importance of alumni connections. She also offered suggestions about crafting resumes and cover letters. For example, she mentioned that a concise and compelling cover letter can help make one stand out among many applicants.

Yifan Lou is a doctoral student concentrating in Social Policy and Policy Analysis at CSSW. She provided an overview of the process of applying for doctoral programs and stressed the importance of motivation and passion for pursuing a Ph.D. She also suggested aspiring applicants to make their decisions early in order to have sufficient time to prepare a strong application.

Yingning Wang is a second-year graduate student at CSSW and will begin her doctoral studies at the Department of Psychology at Roosevelt University in fall 2021. She agreed that pursuing a Ph.D. is a big decision. She advised that applicants should work hard to prepare their personal statements and CVs. She also shared her experience in launching and running a start-up project. “The key for starting a business is to do thorough market research,” Yingning suggested.  

Jingzhuo Zhang is a second-year graduate student at CSSW with a concentration in Social Enterprise Administration. She decided to return to China to pursue jobs in banking and has secured several job offers. Jingzhuo shared the timeline for job hunting in China based on her experience. She advised others to find a job that interests them the most and do their best to prepare for exams and interviews.

Many CSSW Chinese international students attended the career planning panel and engaged in a Q and A with the panelists. Professor Qin Gao, Director of the China Center for Social Policy, also joined the discussion and answered some questions. Participants described the event to be eye-opening and extremely timely and helpful.

Columbia Affiliations
China Center for Social Policy