Linyihui Xu '15
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Why did you choose Cornell?
Cornell's motto, "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study," impressed me the most among all the universities I applied.
What is your main Cornell extracurricular activity -- why is it important to you?
I am the former president of Cornell China Club in 2014, a student-run organization committing to bringing together prominent guests from a variety of industries at the annual Cornell China Conference to share the most innovative, thought-provoking and interesting ideas for Cornell community.
Organizing a large-scale conference is far more difficult than I expected. It builds huge pressure on the president from all perspectives, but at the same time I learned fast from failures and grew up a lot together with the rest team members. I bonded with those excellent like-minded individuals, and I am very glad that this experience has made our friendship stronger. I know for sure they would look out for me, make sure I am doing well, and would be there for me throughout my time at Cornell and after.
What was your most profound turning point while at Cornell?
The decision to double major in China and Asia-Pacific Studies (CAPS) during my sophomore year is the most profound turning point in my Cornell life. Despite that I am from China, I barely know my motherland as the liberal arts education is not that solid in China. I would like to thank Cornell for offering such a wonderful major, which has generated enormous influence on my future career path. I decided to change my original career goal of doing finance to devoting myself into caring public affairs. CAPS program has equipped me with pre-professional research skills, expanded my vision in every perspective and help me see a larger picture of my life.
What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?
The activity I am most proud of is that we successfully held 2014 Cornell China Conference on campus. With the fundraising team, we raised $40,000 funds within three months to ensure financial support for the Conference. We also invited over 30 high-profile entrepreneurs, government officials, scholars and experts to share their insights. The event attracted over 800 students from both Cornell and the surrounding universities (Binghamton University, Syracuse University, etc.). In particular, three Chinese national TV stations flew over to Cornell from China to videotape the whole conference, and made the special TV series about Cornell University and the event, which has been broadcast on TV in China last year.
What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?
Barbecue with my beloved Cornell friends beside the Cayuga Lake in the summer.
Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?
My friends and professors. Many professors are very knowledgeable and generous enough to provide their suggestions to my problems. My CAPS advisor, Xu Xin, and the Econ senior lecturer, Gregory Besharov, are just two of many people I would thank.
How did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?
I believe I have a better understanding of world politics and international relations.
What do you value about your liberal arts education?
The idea of being able to attend an institution where I can follow my interests wherever they lead me, across disciplines, still appeals to me today and I know this promise is true after my four-year study at Cornell. I will never forget my earthquake class and philosophy class that are completely out of my league but very interesting and inspiring.
What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I will pursue the master degree in public administration at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. I hope to take over my father's company and expand its global market in 10 years.