Five professionals shared their understanding of careers, and stories about their process of making career choices at Beijing BISS International School (BISS) Career Day this year. From the perspectives of a researcher and editor from the National Astronomical Observatory of Chinese Academy of Sciences, a psychologist who used to be a physicist, 2018 Rhodes Scholar from Peking University who is dedicated to fulfilling her dream to become an investigative reporter, a former senior marketing consultant from McKinsey Co., and two award-winning graphic designers, students had chance to add first-hand information and a personal touch to their career research.
The day started with James Wicker, editor and researcher with National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He shared with students the classification of astrology, and basic background knowledge including the solar system, the constellations, and types of stars. After answering students’ questions about black holes and Hawking radiation, he wrapped up with major achievements of ancient Chinese such as Su Song’s Water Clock (AD1092) and the Stone Constellation Map from the Song Dynasty (AD1078), as well as modern Observatory Equipment in China such as LAMOST (the world’s largest spectroscopic telescope in Hebei Province), and FAST (the world’s largest single dish radio telescope, Guizhou Province).
As a psychologist, Chang Xue shared her own experience of facing conflicts upon choosing her career, between answering her inner calling and meeting with parents’ expectations.
“These parents are on tenterhooks to make sure their children do not make mistakes in choosing what to study and what they do in the future. But they haven’t realized that children can learn tremendously on their own by following their passion, and even by making mistakes on the way to find who they are and what they really want.” Chang showed students how to empathize with their parents’ anxiety.
Fu Zixuan from Peking University, was one of only four Rhodes Scholars from China in 2018. When she was only in 6th grade, she started to think about “What do I have passion to do? What I am good at? What is most meaningful to me? What is practical to achieve?” She advised students to plan their future career at an early age as “a profession is much likely different from what it looks like when you are really in it.”
As an experienced former consultant with McKinsey, the fourth speaker Autumn Qiu led a practical and informative lecture, with quite a few games and quizzes to guide students in classic marketing theory, what they mean in real business, and the ways most companies plan their commercials.
“Art is a freedom where artists express their idea and belief in their unique way, whereas design is something you do to serve for your clients. When you design you need to follow the rules just like a doctor, needs to understand patients’ requirements to solve their problems for them,” said one of the two graphic designers. Talking about inspiration, the designers told students it never drops all of a sudden from the void, but is based on years of deep involvement, careful analysis, and tremendous practice.
Photo: courtesy of Yuewen from BISS, pixabay.com