1. What led you to study public policy at CEU?
My interest in the development of civil society in China was the driving factor in my decision to pursue a degree in public policy. CEU is famous for its focus on the concept of open society and is located in a former communist country. It was the dream place for my studies.
2. What do you remember most about your time at CEU?
The intense workload and all kinds of exciting out-of-class activities. CEU provides a vivid environment for learning. Most of the activities are just awesome. There are lectures by world-class scholars and interesting seminars. Budapest is a great place to learn about European culture, as well. There are amazing operas, dramas, and programs like the Night of Museums, among others. It is always a tough decision to choose between studying and going out.
3. What have you been engaged in professionally since graduating from CEU?
I am a policy researcher at the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences. It is a local government think tank. Guangzhou is a city in South China with about 17 million inhabitants. My research focuses on the social security system and civil society/NGO development.
4. How have your policy studies at CEU contributed to your career?
The training I received and the skills I learned at CEU is the foundation of my career now. Without them, I would not even have been able to get this job that requires me to apply theory to reality and to give practical policy advice. My education at CEU gave me not only the tools I need, but also the mentality and methods necessary to continue learning by myself.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
China is changing fast and so are the people here. It is hard to imagine what the country will look like in five years' time. In the past five years, I witnessed the honeymoon phase of the relationship between NGOs and the government and now we are seeing the suppression of civil society. I don't know what the next five years will bring, but policy research and civil society will always be my field.
6. Do you have any advice for current students?
I understand the pressure that comes with studying at CEU, but I encourage you to go out for social activities as much as you can, especially cultural activities in Budapest. They will become precious memories years later.
7. What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?
I have so many unique memories, like drinking hot wine at a Christmas market, the Night of Museums, the wine festival, climbing up to the Buda Castle, wandering on Margaret Island, and shopping in the Central Market Hall. It is hard to name one favorite thing. I miss Budapest!