In 2012, a group of UIC students raised 1 million yuan from the public to build a primary school in Nayong County, Bijie, Guizhou Province. As People’s Daily and other media reported, a girl, among all group of college students, was holding a donation box in the heat of summer to actively raise funds. The girl is Tu Zhiyue, an Accountant student who graduated from UIC in 2014. Since then, Zhiyue has been riding the wind and waves in the venture capital industry and is now working at Gobi Ventures as a senior investment director. She is thankful for her experience at UIC, which helps shape her future.

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Tu Zhiyue

When she first entered UIC, Zhiyue was not confident and liked to work alone. However, she met a group of friends at UIC. They formed a team to run for the student council cabinet and set up another club to raise funds for the establishment of Hope Primary School.

Zhiyue remembers her team wearing red vests, carrying the exhibition board, donation boxes, leaflets, and red ribbons. By travelling to four cities in three different provinces and autonomous regions, they ended up raising 1 million yuan to build Chenjiazhai Primary School. This has instilled confidence in Zhiyue as she has become aware that she could change things via collaboration and hard work.

On-campus, she also has worked with members of the Saifu team to launch a ‘creative classification of garbage’ activity, where they used the income from recycling to donate to the school project. Indeed, it manifests a combination of public welfare, environmental protection and economic benefits. They were the winners with their project ’Unilever & Saifu Sustainable Development Charity Action’ in the report competition. Likewise, in her junior year, Zhiyue and her teammates won the Excellence Award in the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants QP case analysis national competition. Numerous activities as such not only made Zhiyue's university life enjoyable but pointed to her whats he could pursue in the future.

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The school that Tu Zhiyue helped raised money for

During her four years at UIC, Zhiyue jokingly described herself as a "child without a family". She spent each vacation on study tours, club activities or internships. Each trip gave Zhiyue a new understanding of life. With study-abroad experience in France and Canada, she was determined to go abroad for further studies, perhaps in the field of public relations which appealed to her during her internships and club activities.

After the junior year, Zhiyue primarily lent herself to academic studies. During her senior year, she applied for a Master of Public Administration at Columbia University. In the application, she focused on the social activities she had engaged herself at UIC with her deep thoughts on their social implications. Unsurprisingly, she ended up landing the offer.

While studying at Columbia University as an interdisciplinary student, Zhiyue had to spend quite a bit of time learning the new knowledge system from scratch, but she was motivated throughout. She was proud that she became a course assistant in the second semester there with a scholarship.

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Tu Zhiyue likes to visit museums

With an interest in the field of venture capital, Zhiyue joined Gobi Ventures after graduating from Columbia University in 2016. She found that not only are the abilities to observe society needed but the curiosity and lifelong learning are desired.

While at work, Zhiyue has met professionals from all circles, from whom she has benefited substantially. For some companies, while they grow very fast, they are not well prepared for risks. For others, they seem to grow slowly, but their progress is well-made. Once an opportunity arises, they will go ahead with flying colours. Zhiyue believes that analogous to companies, people need to go mature like this to prepare themselves for future opportunities.

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Tu Zhiyue enjoys travelling

Zhiyue is very grateful to her alma mater; even she has left for UIC for six years. Whenever asked about UIC, she would highly recommend it. In her view, UIC is a unique college which offers her an international platform to learn the world. She ended up mastering substantial learning methods and skills from various club activities.

Zhiyue believes that apart from academic studies, a global vision with strong beliefs is very important during the learning stage. This had helped her to learn and think in alternative ways for many things including reading books, communicating with people, participating in social and artistic activities.

Zhiyue would like to suggest that students new to UIC should make good use of its international platform, which will surely help expand their horizons, enhance their capacity to become informative, and shape their future visions. The short-term goals with various projects and programs will bridge with their long-term planning for the future.


Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Zhang Fan
(with thanks to ELC)