The Alumni Gathering is an regular event bringing together GIR Alumni and existing GIR students from every cohort (Y1 to Y4). Alumni active in various sectors - ranging from academia to government and various businesses, at home and abroad  - share their experience in person or via video chats, allowing the whole GIR community to interact, network and explore the many opportunities that the GIR programme can offer.

 

On the 20th of October 2016, the first GIR Alumni Gathering was organized to celebrate the achievements of former graduates, who were invited back to campus to share with current students their working experience in various industries as well as their fond memories of their time at UIC. A number of alumni working in faraway locations - e.g. London, Ottawa, New York, Silicon Valley etc. - also contributed by sending video messages via chat.

 

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In a brief opening speech, Programme Director Dr. Edoardo Monaco thanked all participants: “International socio-economic and political studies can help you better understand the fast-changing, highly interconnected world of our times, and actively connect you to it. No major really defines you: undergraduate studies, especially at UIC, represent a formative phase of your life in which you should mainly explore your interests and develop your full potential. A rich and diverse programme like GIR can be a particularly meaningful ‘launching platform’, where to assess a wide range of global dynamics – from governance to development - thus building plenty of opportunities for personal and professional growth, both at home and abroad”, said Dr. Monaco.

 

Some alumni at the event offered the audience brief speeches and presentations: they currently work within international NGOs, banks, art galleries, real estate companies, academic institutions or the media. The diversity of their job placement is a significant indicator of the many relevant career opportunities that studying international affairs at UIC can offer.

 

Alumni addressed some of the common concerns of young freshmen, and shared their insights on how to best find jobs, choose graduate schools or approach international affairs at UIC and abroad.

 

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Mr. Dai Peilin- now working in China Merchants Securities Co. LTD

 

 “Now, the first thing I do to begin the day is analyse world news with my work team by using precisely the tools I learned as an international relations’ student”, said Mr. Dai Peilin. A 2016 graduate, Mr. Dai is one of the youngest futures’ traders employed by China Merchants Securities in Shenzhen. He was able to beat fierce competition and become one of the few deserving graduates recruited by this prestigious Chinese bank.

 

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Mr. An Kaiwen- now working in Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Mr. An Kaiwen is currently working at the Wildlife Conservation Society and is about to pursue related graduate studies abroad: “My international studies at GIR helped me explore vast horizons and discover my true interests. I never expected that I could find a job in an internationally renowned NGO and actually work in a field I am truly passionate about. It makes me feel very accomplished”, said Mr. An.

 

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Ms. Dingling- now working in Yuanda Real Estate Development Co Ltd

 

Ms. Ding Ling too addressed the audience: “At the beginning of my international affairs studies I was concerned, as I was coming from a natural-science-based high school background. But with my own great surprise, I soon started to enjoy the inputs I was gaining and recognise the crucial connections between global development issues and environmental science. In the end, I was able to pursue my dream of studying urban planning in London, after graduation, thanks to the guidance and insights of GIR professors”. In fact, after graduation from UIC/GIR, Ms. Ding completed with distinction a Master’s Degree in Urban Development Planning at University College London, United Kingdom, and now works for the Evergrande Group - a prominent real estate company in China.

 

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Ms. Lin Jun- now working in Guangdong TV Station, as a journalist and Chief Editor of new media

Some GIR alumni have even pursued careers in media and communication: Ms. Lin Jun, for instance, a 2013 graduate, is now working at Guangdong TV Station as a journalist and Chief Editor of news media. “I deeply appreciate the international multidisciplinary education gathered during my undergraduate years: it provided me with a solid foundation that has empowered me to face any challenge with confidence”, she said.

 

The programme also wishes to specially thank for their presence and contribution Mr. Zhang Hengyu, who now works in Yunnan Energy Corporation; Ms. Ku Yilin, who is now based in HK and operates in the art industry; Ms. Xu Shenshen, who engages in marketing. The following students sent video messages: Ms. Qin Yalan, who is now working in an education platform in Silicon Valley, USA; Ms. Kang Yuxi, who works in a non-governmental organization (NGO) in New York; Ms. Ms. Li Cong, who is now based in Canada and works in the Department of National Defense; Mr. Yang Benxiao, who studies in London; Ms. Du Li who currently works in the Chengdu government.

 

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Ms. Ku Yilin- now working in an International Art PR Agency, SUTTON

 

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 Mr. Zhang Hengyu - now working in Yunnan Provincial Energy Investment Group Co. LTD

 

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Ms. Xu Shenshen- now working in Guang Dong Guang Xu Intergrated Marketing Communication Co.LTD

 

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Ms. Kang Yuxi-now working in a non-governmental organization (NGO) in New York

 

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Ms. Qing Yalan–working for BitTiger, in Silicon Valley

 

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Mr. Yang Benxiao- now studying in UCL (University College London)

 

 

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Ms. Ms. Li Cong- now working in the Department of National Defense,  in Canada

 

Many further thanks go to all attendees who have graced us with their participation and enthusiasm, as well as to the alumni who could not make it to the event this year but make us proud every day in every corner of the globe.

 

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Last but not least, we are grateful to the GIR Student society for impeccably organizing such a successful event.

 

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See you all again in 2017, for an even more exciting and inclusive celebration of our growingly relevant community!