Chi­nese youth walk­ing on the Wall Street

Young gifted alumni from the Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy of China

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT - By ZHUAN TI zhuanti@chi­

Evolv­ing from an ex­cel­lent stu­dent into a renowned en­tre­pre­neur, Huang Qin sees am­bi­tion as his guid­ing prin­ci­ple.

“Am­bi­tion is as pre­cious as gold. Where there is am­bi­tion, there is a chance,” Huang said.

“We are al­ways look­ing for mir­a­cles in the out­side world, but mir­a­cles ac­tu­ally ex­ist in­side,” he said.

As one of the top stu­dents in Hu­nan prov­ince, Huang was ad­mit­ted to the Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy of China in An­hui prov­ince at the age of only 14.

Four years later he re­ceived a schol­ar­ship to the renowned Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy as the first Chi­nese stu­dent ma­jor­ing in com­puter sci­ence.

His out­stand­ing aca­demic per­for­mance even­tu­ally earned Huang the ti­tle of “stu­dent of the year” at MIT.

In ad­di­tion to com­puter sci­ence, Huang also had a great in­ter­est in eco­nom­ics.

A solid foun­da­tion in math­e­mat­ics, fi­nance and eco­nom­ics has en­dowed him with a unique per­spec­tive on changes in the world fi­nan­cial mar­ket.

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, he worked as a fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst at Pru­den­tial Se­cu­ri­ties on Wall Street in New York.

Am­bi­tion is as pre­cious as gold. Where there is am­bi­tion, there is a chance. We are al­ways look­ing for mir­a­cles in the out­side world, but mir­a­cles ac­tu­ally ex­ist in­side.” HUANG QIN FOUNDER OF NETBIG

There Huang de­vel­oped his own math­e­mat­i­cal model known as the “mar­velous Chi­nese pre­dic­tion” by his clients.

Five years later, he be­came the Asia chief ex­ec­u­tive at Deutsche Bank.

Though he had a high salary and a promis­ing ca­reer, Huang de­cided to start his own busi­ness in China.

Af­ter an­a­lyz­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, in 1999, he es­tab­lished a univer­sity in­for­ma­tion web­site for Chi­nese stu­dents called Netbig.

It soon turned out to be a huge suc­cess.

Huang is only one ex­am­ple of suc­cess­ful Chi­nese en­trepreneurs on Wall Street.

Oth­ers in­clude Chen Yi­dong, pres­i­dent of Bear Stearns Cos, Zhao Jinkui, vice-pres­i­dent JPMor­gan Chase and Luo Xiaochun, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of HSBC Bank USA.

Apart from be­ing Chi­nese and young, they all share another sim­i­lar­ity.

All of them grad­u­ated from the School of the Gifted Young at the Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy of China.

Founded in 1978, SGY aims at ed­u­cat­ing gifted youth us­ing an in­no­va­tive ed­u­ca­tion model.

Over the past 35 years, the school de­vel­oped three types of elite ed­u­ca­tion.

The ear­li­est en­rolled stu­dents un­der the age of 16. Another is sim­i­lar to hon­ors pro­grams in the US.

The most re­cent ap­proach is the “in­no­va­tion class” that be­gan in 2010.

Based on rec­om­men­da­tions, it ac­cepts gifted stu­dents as an in­no­va­tive way to de­velop the school it­self.

The ad­mis­sion process re­quires ev­ery ap­pli­cant to take the gaokao, or na­tional col­lege en­trance exam.

The test score is first cri­te­rion to se­lect ap­pli­cants.

Then the el­i­gi­ble stu­dents will re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tion for a two­day in­ter­view.

On the first day, stu­dents take math and physics ex­ams to text the authen­tic­ity of their gaokao score.

There is also an EQ test to help school bet­ter un­der­stand stu­dent’s char­ac­ter, per­son­al­ity and ca­reer plan­ning.

On the sec­ond day, two spe­cial­ized lessons im­part­ing on new knowl­edge are given, af­ter which stu­dents are im­me­di­ately tested.

SGY of­fers stu­dents di­verse cour­ses in math, physics, chem­istry, biology, engineering, com­puter sci­ence and English.

In the first year of col­lege, stu­dents are re­quired to learn all ba­sic cour­ses.

The flex­i­ble ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem then gives stu­dents the free­dom of choos­ing a ma­jor, but also adds in­ter­dis­ci­plinary learn­ing that can greatly help their fur­ther de­vel­op­ment, ac­cord­ing to the school. Al­though the teach­ing stan­dards at SGY are high, it is the stu­dents them­selves who push their achieve­ments be­yond ex­pec­ta­tions.

The stu­dents were of­ten in the top 10 per­cent of their classes be­fore. Many chal­lenge them­selves to make break­throughs.

One is Liu Zhongqing, who grad­u­ated from the school in 1987.

Though he re­ceived five job of­fers upon grad­u­a­tion, Liu de­scribes him­self as a “rest­less” man.

“There are many op­por­tu­ni­ties in China and job-hop­ping gives me chances to learn more,” he said.

Liu’s courage stems from his in­no­va­tive and “rest­less” char­ac­ter, a com­mon trait among SGY stu­dents. “What mat­ters most is in­no­va­tion and courage,” said a stu­dent. Yu Deguang con­trib­uted to this story


Win­ter scene at the Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy of China in He­fei, An­hui prov­ince.

Grad­u­ates cel­e­brate at the univer­sity’s com­mence­ment cer­e­mony.

Tsung-Dao Lee (sec­ond from left), a Chi­nese-born Amer­i­can physi­cist and win­ner of the No­bel Prize for physics in 1957, talks with teach­ers and USTC stu­dents in 1984.

School of the Gifted Young at USTC

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