Yiran Zhu did not take the task of choosing a university lightly. Obtaining a Master of Business Administration was very important to him, so he compared MBA programs offered around the world before making his decision.
“What made Cape Breton University’s MBA program stand out was the focus on Community Economic Development,” says Yiran. “Many other programs focus on the generation of profit, but forget the importance of social and ecological effects behind the profit. The MBA in CED at CBU offered very unique perspectives on the field of business.”
After arriving from Beijing, China, Yiran settled in quickly to his new home, thankful that the weather wasn’t too warm. He says Cape Breton has been a great place to improve his English as there are so many native-English speakers on the island. “The reason I came to CBU is because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and become a better version of myself,” says Yiran. “I think I have accomplished that during my time here.”
This weekend, Yiran will be crossing the stage at convocation and celebrating everything he accomplished during his time at CBU. He says he wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of his incredible professors, including Dr. Sahand Ashtab, Martin Moy and Gary Leech. “With the help of my professors I have taken my understanding to the next level,” says Yiran. “My knowledge of various financial activities in the business world has been enhanced thanks to their expertise.”
Yiran’s favourite thing about being a CBU student has been having the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds and countries. He says the diverse environment has elevated his learning experience and he has enjoyed the academic atmosphere on campus.
Yiran also got involved on campus by becoming a member of the dragon dancing team and performing numerous times at CBU. He worked as a research assistant, a residence advisor and a finance tutor, all of which he says enriched his time at university.
“It’s hard to choose between the research and the tutoring as the highlight of my time at CBU,” says Yiran. “Getting the opportunity to explore new things and conduct research was thoroughly enjoyable, and sharing my knowledge with other students through tutoring was very rewarding.” Yiran says watching students figure out a problem on their own and getting good grades after working with him in the lab was one of the best feelings in the world. Although Yiran is sad to be leaving the university he has come to love, he is eager to put his knowledge to good use in the real world. “I will make the greatest contribution to society I can,” says Yiran. “If possible, I want to inspire others to work together to make our lives better.”
Following graduation, Yiran plans to return to China temporarily but hopes to find his way back to Nova Scotia to begin his career. His advice to future CBU students is to always stay hungry and curious. “Absorb all the knowledge you can and invest in yourself,” he says. “Consider the new world you can build when you put your education to use.” We know that Yiran is going to make a difference in the world and we hope to see him back in Cape Breton. Congratulations Yiran. We are so proud of you!