The Youth Leadership Series is a new initiative at Hunan International Economics University. Entrepreneurs, CEOs and managing directors of multinational companies and nonprofit organizations are sharing firsthand knowledge and experience with students on enhancing personal development and professionalism in a global employment context.
The series is held on a monthly basis and brings top captains of industry into the classroom as a means to foster adaptability and creative problem-solving. In February 2012, the former CEO of Laureate China, Mark Hu (also the former CEO of Whirlpool Asia Pacific and CEO of SC Johnson China) was the first speaker in the series. He talked about key factors in developing a successful, sustainable business in China. Daniel B. Wright, founder, president and CEO of the GreenPoint Group as well as the senior vice-president and acting head of the Albright Stonebridge Group in China, addressed students in March. He shared his personal experiences in China and gave pointers on how to become a successful leader in cross-cultural situations. In May, Founder, Honorary President of Wall Street English China, Dr. Luigi T. Peccenini gave a talk titled “My Stories: Failures and Success” to an audience on the HIEU campus and gave speeches to the school top management, student representatives and 3,000 students. In June, two young managers (Yu Pei and Gregory Root) from Teach for China, a nonprofit organization devoted to recruiting university graduates in China and the U.S. to teach in remote areas of China, gave a thought-provoking speech on the value of one's contribution to society.
"Hunan, particularly its capital city Changsha, has become a magnet for international investors. Our students are strong in their readiness for the workplace, thanks to HIEU’s career-oriented programs over the past few years. What they need now is an 'eye opener' so they can be better prepared for future employers in an international business environment,” said HIEU Executive Vice-President Mr. Li Zhao. “The Leadership Series is such an eye-opener for our students, and I am proud to say that HIEU is among the few institutions in Hunan Province that are able to bring such distinguished guest speakers to address the students.”
The series has been well received by students at HIEU. “I have never come so close to a CEO of a real Fortune 500 company!” one student exclaimed. “We seldom have the chance to witness a presentation delivered in English by an international guest speaker,” another student remarked. “It made us feel as though we were studying abroad, and our English has improved as well.”