Welcome to Carey: U.S. Culture Challenge

Xiaowen (Wendy) Yu
Xiaowen (Wendy) Yu

Xiaowen (Wendy) Yu is an MS in Finance (2017) candidate at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and holds a BA in Finance from Zhejiang University in China. Wendy is a creative and diligent young professional with proven abilities in research and analysis. She has completed internships in commercial banks and security companies. Wendy is passionate about research positions in security companies and the international department or IBD in the financial industry.

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When my friend Chenyin and I heard about the U.S. Culture Challenge during the Career Development Office presentation of Summer Intensive, we were very excited. It is a great opportunity for us to showcase our personalities and why not participate? We reached a consensus without any hesitation.

Indeed, we did go through some cultural challenges when we arrived in the U.S. Luckily, many people helped us handle these issues. For example, the professor in Academic Communication class taught us how to write an email appropriately, how to introduce ourselves with confidence, and how to start small talk.

What’s more, we tried our best to adapt to this new environment and accomplished some activities from each core competency activity bank for a total of 9.

As an MS in Finance student, learning analytical software is important. To this point, I plan to use Lynda, a wonderful platform to learn new skills by myself. On presentation day, we used Prezi to deliver our presentation. After the event, a fellow participant from another team appreciated our format of presentation. I recommended Lynda, where I learned to make Prezi.

We also registered for the Wall Street Journal, a suggestion by our professor, and read at least five articles every week. Although at first we found it was a bit difficult for us to look through whole pages quickly, now we can go through the subjects and find some interesting topics more easily. Practice makes perfect!

In addition, we practiced small talk in different situations. One of our most impressive moments happened when we chatted with a Lyft driver and appreciated the music played in his car; he shared he was a singer and the music was produced by himself. We felt quite surprised and asked for his signature when we left the car. Believe it or not, he also gave us his phone number!

Furthermore, we enriched our LinkedIn profiles and made them more professional. This task has not been absolutely finished as we would like to improve our profile continuously through the instructions from Career Navigator. Also, we made connections with Johns Hopkins alumni. We hope to enhance our networking ability so that we would be more likely to find satisfactory jobs in the future.

Finally, we made our own exercise plan. We started running in our apartment complex gym two weeks ago. Running is a useful way for us to relieve stress.

In conclusion, it’s universal for international students to feel a bit stressed when they first enter into a new environment with a different culture, a different language and tough studies. However, we can work harder and make some changes to adapt to this new environment. Johns Hopkins Carey Business School provides us wonderful resources such as free learning websites, library resources, and guidance from the Career Development Office. So, take full use of these benefits from Carey and keep a good time management.

Chance favors only the prepared mind!

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