Risk Article
December 6, 2016


Worth the Risk

Reputation, Honesty Leads Enterprise Risk Management Student to Carey

Yao Zheng

Yao Zheng has chosen to study at Carey twice, but for very different reasons.

Two years ago, Zheng transferred from North Seattle College to complete his bachelor’s degree in business. Originally from Xinxiang in China’s Henan Province, he had moved to Seattle on his own to enter North Seattle College’s high school completion program. He chose Carey as his next step largely for the Johns Hopkins name, he says: “It stands for a high-reputation school and a successful professional education.”

He was also drawn to the description of Carey as a place “where business is taught with humanity in mind.” “Humanity is what business needs,” Zheng says. “The world needs integrity, and honest business professionals.”

After earning his bachelor’s last spring, he chose Carey again – this time to earn a master’s degree in enterprise risk management, which he expects to complete in August 2017. The decision was easy because he knew exactly what he was getting from his Carey professors – whom he considers his mentors – and wanted more of it. “You can get knowledge from any good business school,” he says. “What Carey gives me is more of a mindset.”

Zheng is among a growing wave of students coming to Carey from China, where since 2010 the number of enrollees annually has grown from 81 to 1,124.

Having watched his father build his own company in China from the ground up, Zheng had always wanted to be an entrepreneur. What that used to mean for him, he says, was earning money and creating a good life for himself and his family. Today, he says his mindset has shifted to larger horizons, reinforced especially by a business ethics class with senior lecturer Thomas Crain. Zheng now holds that business exists not for individuals to make money, but to provide better goods and services to help people live longer, happier, and better lives.

“Business really shouldn’t be a tool that makes yourself a better living. It should be a tool that makes the whole world live better,” Zheng says.

During his time at Carey, in addition to his coursework, Zheng has honed his leadership skills through a series of roles as a student leader. Currently the president of the Student Government Association, he has also served as vice president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and vice president of the Advanced Career Pathway Club.

The roles have taught him how to manage a team and revealed to him his leadership style. “I like shared leadership because people get more engaged and feel personally responsible for the organization,” he says.

When he completes his degree next summer, Zheng plans to shore up his education with a master’s in real estate to support the work he has already begun on a startup and some other investments. And where will he earn his next degree? Zheng says he will choose Carey for a third time.