Another year and another class of graduating students will say goodbye to their alma mater and start a new journey. The four years spent at UIC is some of the best years of their life. How many stories and sceneries have been treasured along the way? How much hard work has paid off? The following is the story of Year 4 Cinema and Television student Sun Xiaoya.


Year 4 Cinema and Television student, Sun Xiaoya, has been putting unremitting efforts into achieving her goals. During her time at UIC, Sun Xiaoya went to Swansea University in the UK as part of an exchange programme; she also completed an internship at leading PR firm, Weber Shandwick. After graduating from UIC, she intends to pursue a master’s degree in Media and Communications Governance at her dream college, The London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Sun Xiaoya

“What do I want?”

When she first entered UIC, Sun Xiaoya, like many freshmen who had just stepped out of the comfort zone, had a strong dependence on her parents. As she grew up in college, she became more independent, from learning how to cook to choosing her direction in life; she has gradually become a responsible adult.

In the second semester of her third year, Sun Xiaoya went to Swansea University as an exchange student, which gave her a unique experience. During that semester while in another country, she found herself maturing quickly. She participated in class discussions as well as travelling to another city to take the IELTS examination, and also toured around Europe with friends. These new challenges in addition to being in a multicultural environment have helped shape her to be more independent and tolerant.

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Sun Xiaoya was an exchange student in Swansea University at Year 3

At the end of the semester, many of her fellow students in China began to look for summer internships. Even though she was in the UK at that time, Sun Xiaoya had been planning to do an internship, so she decided to put her curriculum vitae on the Internet to have a go. Later, she received a telephone interview call from one of the 4A public relations companies, Weber Shandwick, which followed by a written test and a video interview. She successfully passed the interviews.

After finishing her life as an exchange student, she went to Weber Shandwick’s Shanghai office to begin a three-month internship. This was Sun Xiaoya's first contact in the public relations industry. During this internship, she learned to constantly improve her works. She explained that one time her colleagues and she revised a piece of text material thirteen times. Sun Xiaoya sees her internship as a process of trying and making mistakes, in which she could discover her deficiencies and as a result, she improved on them.

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Through an internship at Weber Shandwick, Sun Xiaoya knows herself better

In the past four years, Sun Xiaoya kept asking herself what she wants, and she used her time in college to seek for that answer. Growing into a more independent person is a process of climbing stairs. She explains that only one person can be responsible for their every independent decision and they should take charge of a lot of things by themselves. 


“Nothing is impossible!

Sun Xiaoya planned to study abroad at an early stage, but she decided not to apply for postgraduate studies until her senior year. At that time, her father encouraged her by telling her that the process of the application is more important than the result. According to him, the process of the application could also test Xiaoya’s ability, so that she knows whether she is suitable to pursue studies there. Sun Xiaoya listened to her father and decided to try by herself.

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In her senior year, to complete this important step for further studies, she could always be found in the library. She spent a lot of time trying to perfect her application. In this process, she received a lot of help from UIC’s English Language Centre (ELC) and teachers from her major, as well as her friends. After successfully receiving the offer, she is even more convinced that anything is possible.

"It's better to fail while striving for something wonderful, challenging, adventurous, and uncertain than to say: 'I don't want to try because I may not succeed completely.' "

After four years of college, this quote has always inspired Sun Xiaoya, no matter what difficulties or challenges she encountered. She always reminded herself to keep working hard, be confident, and never say impossible before trying. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all.

When recalling her memories, Sun Xiaoya explained that she is grateful to have met many teachers and good friends at UIC. She continued to say that even when she meets new people and have more experience in the future, she’ll never forget about UIC.


Reporter: Covee Wang
Editors: Deen He, Samuel Burgess