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BCIS Alumni Yulin Chen: Enjoy Your Educational Life

November, 2017
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It’s great being a photographer as I can remember people’s faces very clearly for a really long time, and especially those excellent students I have met at internationals schools throughout these years. When we got the recommendation from Beijing City International School (BCIS) about an interview on their proud alumni Yulin Chen, I quickly thought of the handsome graduate posing for a graduation photo in front of the Great Hall of the People last May.

0j7a8300e589afe69cac-2Yulin Chen is currently studying Business Management at Babson College, his dream school.

This ambitious young man is majoring in Business Management, concentrating on Strategic Management and Design Technology.

“I always wanted to study business management in a liberal arts environment. Babson provides me exactly the kind of education and resources I was looking for. Although we are still covering the fundamental courses in business so far, I really enjoy what I am learning.”

Beijing is his hometown, but BCIS is like his second home. The boy still comes back to BCIS at least once a year when he’s on vacation and back to Beijing. His latest visit was in summer 2017 when he attended the BCIS Rock Fest with a group of friends and chatted with the current graduating class. “Visiting the campus brought back so many memories and catching up with our teachers was so much fun. Lots of changes took place on campus and I was happy to see things kept getting even better.”

Through email conversation, LittleStar has gathered an exclusive interview with Chen on his current university life and his thoughts about education.

LittleStar: Is university life even harder than the IB years in High School? What is the difference between university life and HS life?

Chen: Definitely harder. With more freedom given, the workload is doubled. Our deliverables range from papers to presentations. The professors expect very high quality work (even higher than a 7 in IB). The stuff we learn in high school is considered prerequisite knowledge in college classes. We have to manage our time really well to survive the semester. More freedom always equals more responsibility. Fortunately, I enjoy what I’m learning.

img_0071e589afe69cacThe biggest difference between High School life and college life is that we have more decision-power (autonomy) over what we want to learn. There are so many specific options you can choose from (unlike the relatively limited options in IB). That said; you are responsible for planning your career development ahead.

LittleStar: You’ve been studying at BCIS for many years. How did you like that part of school life?

Chen: BCIS has always been a wonderful and memorable memory of mine. That part of the school life shaped who I am and prepared me better for college. By trying out different interests in BCIS, I confirmed my academic concentration and career path in business and entrepreneurship. More importantly, the skill set that BCIS trained me certainly paved the way to becoming a successful student in college.

LittleStar: Are you still in close contact with your BCIS friends, both students and teachers, nowadays? How important is that friendship to you?

Chen: Yes, every friendship is important to me and I’m thankful for the wonderful memories with them in High School. We try to hangout at least once a year and visit BCIS.

LittleStar: Tell us one thing/project that you have done at BCIS and you’re most proud of?

Chen: I was very passionate about filming-making in High School. I made more than 10 videos per year, even in the last year of High School. I believe videos are one of the most impactful and inspiring forms of media. I met lots of interesting people and had lots of fun in the production process as well.

LittleStar: What do you think of the education at BCIS? How well did it prepare you for college?

Chen: The academic environment and settings were very similar in college as they were in BCIS, so it was relatively easy for me to adjust myself to college life. Education in BCIS mainly prepared me better in the following aspects:

img_1728e589afe69cacLanguage: Proficient English is required for college students. The BCIS and the IB language courses prepared me better for that.

Time management and stress management: the ability to prioritize, get things done, and relieve stress during the heavy workload.

Professional communication: how to communicate with professors and express yourself in a professional manner.

Critical thinking: the ability to conduct independent research and analysis, as well as evaluate, and reflect.

Collaboration and leadership: the ability to work with a diverse group of people and to lead a team.

LittleStar: What is you advice for the current HS students about their university choice?

Chen: Know what you are looking for in college. There’s lots of moving components in college selection. The most effective way would be to prioritize the criterions according to your own values and research accordingly.

Do what you love. I can’t imagine how miserable it would be if you were studying something you don’t like for four years, so I do suggest you choose a school that is able to provide you with knowledge that you are passionate about.

LittleStar: What are you busy with besides studying at university? What is the coolest thing you have done in university?

Chen: Starting my own business. As part of the Babson first-year curriculum, students pitch business ideas and launch a business in their Freshman year. With more resources and opportunities in college, I launched a company call SuitUp, where students can rent or rent out their professional attire to other students on campus, creating a “shared economy” (kind of like an “Airbnb for suits”). We are a team of 22 talented people and so far it’s been going great.

LittleStar: What is your plan after four years of university?

my-startup-team-1e589afe69cac1Chen: I will either be working at a consulting firm (strategic consulting) or starting my own business. In preparation for that, I’ve been doing internships over the past few vacations and gaining as much entrepreneurial resources as possible.

LittleStar: People all say the students attending international schools are the lucky ones. What do you think is the biggest benefit of attending an international school like BCIS?

Chen: Indeed, students attending international schools are the lucky ones because not all the families have the financial ability or mindset to send their kids to international schools. The biggest benefit would definitely be having more valuable opportunities and resources to develop a global mindset and those important skills for the future.

LittleStar: Say some words to other BCIS Alumnus.

Chen: Take your time to enjoy each and every stage of your educational life – you will miss it when you move to the next stage. Each stage is wonderful in a way. As long as you are working hard in a field that you feel passionate about, you will do great and eventually create values for your community.


By Xing Yangjian



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