Lan Yupeng is a UIC 2017 Computer Science and Technology (CST) graduate. He received a master's degree in Project Management and Information Systems from New York University in the US during 2019. He currently works at NetEase Beijing R&D Centre as a data product manager. UIC's Liberal Arts Education has had a profound impact on him. It not only improved his overall quality in the four years of university but also guided his development in the subsequent graduate studies, internships and work.

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Lan Yupeng at New York University

Opening up to more opportunities in Liberal Arts Education

The current integrated development of the world industry requires more inter-disciplinary and open-minded talents. Lan Yupeng describes UIC as a student-oriented university that cultivates such talents.

Liberal Arts education is “unique” as it teaches general knowledge that helps remind the CST major Lan Yupeng, to not only learn professional computer course, but also to understand multi-disciplinary knowledge, and to cultivate the ability of divergent thinking. He explains that it teaches people to explore skills, and teaches people about emotional intelligence, giving them the ability to control their emotions and explore ways to communicate with society.

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President of UIC Prof Tang Tao (left) with Lan Yupeng (right)

Lan Yupeng still remembers the question he got asked when applying for the Prof Xu Jialu WPE Award during his senior year: "What is Liberal Arts Education? What did you gain from Liberal Arts Education in college?"

At UIC, Lan Yupeng learned techniques to rock climb and to play golf, learned about environmental protection by investigating the types of garbage and analysing air and water pollution, got inspired by Zen and yoga to better observe his emotions, enjoyed playing a role in Shakespear’s drama, etc.

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Lan Yupeng took part in many UIC activities

Lan Yupeng explains that UIC provides the students with a wide variety of courses and opportunities for overseas exchanges and learning. When studying abroad in France, Lan Yupeng gained a deep interest in studying oil painting and art. These rich experiences not only helped him apply for graduate school, but helped him to make new friends, and learn new knowledge, as well as broadening the boundaries of his life and soul bit by bit.

When he was a graduate student at New York University, he participated in a McKinsey workshop and was reminded that he should find the abilities that the world needs in the future and avoid drifting with the flow while investing more time and energy to socialise. Luckily, for Lan Yupeng, he had learned this already at UIC.

Setting goals at each stage

Lan Yupeng suggests that students who apply for UIC to be goal-oriented. He believes students must first be clear about their personality and then clarify their interests, and finally choose the direction such as graduate school or going to work. He says that planning for oneself should be from the inside out, from knowing oneself to expanding oneself, rather than following what others do.

Lan Yupeng has known since his sophomore year that his interest was not in coding development. He likes to communicate with others and cultivate his interpersonal skills and judgment in activities, but at UIC and New York University, he still tries his best to learn programming, software engineering, data analysis and project planning, these professional courses have helped him to build his core competitiveness. At the same time, he actively enriches his knowledge and expands his comprehensive ability through various platforms, courses and practical opportunities.

In Lan Yupeng’s opinion, UIC's curriculum not only allows students’ practice skills but also shape their values. Lan Yupeng thinks If traditional education is to teach people to master technology and obey orders to be a ‘useful person’ in the future, then Liberal Arts Education maybe is to cultivate one’s independent personality and prepare them for becoming a global citizen. Liberal Arts Education enhances the comprehensive quality of students, guides students to understand themselves, become confident, independent, responsible, capable, and acquire team spirit, and integrity. It is also the education and inspiration of UIC that allows him to constantly break through his boundaries and become a rich and interesting person.

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After graduating from New York University, Lan Yupeng joined a fast-moving consumer company in New York as a market analysis assistant. He used his programming skills for data statistics and visualization to review marketing cases and predict market trends. He also used project management skills to track the performance of regional and global channels as well as evaluate the sales performance of each sub-brand.

In March 2020, Lan Yupeng quit his job in New York and joined NetEase Beijing R&D Centre in the Zhongguancun Software Park. He felt the enthusiasm and social responsibility while working in a Chinese Internet company and has planned his career development path for the new working environment.

Lan Yupeng explained that he would tell future students to embrace the independent living, adapting to English teaching, and he encourages students to find a right balance with student clubs and academics and believes college life is full of opportunities and challenges. UIC in Lan Yupneg’s eyes is not a comfort zone after the college entrance examination, and students should be ready to start a new journey.

From MPRO
Reporters: Samuel Burgess, Covee Wang