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Female returnee: Date job, date man

2016-July-25       Source: Chinadaily.com.cn

Traditional Chinese parents are generally pushy when it comes to their children's marriage. Even living far away from home and studying abroad is no escape.

Gu Weiqi ready for the graduation ceremony of London Business School (LBS), July 16, 2016. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Traditional Chinese parents are generally pushy when it comes to their children's marriage. Even living far away from home and studying abroad is no escape. On the contrary, the distance makes the parents more anxious who keep urging their children to go on blind dates.

"In my opinion, marriage is the biggest reason why so many students from abroad decide to come back, especially female students," said Gu Weiqi, a 28-year-old MBA graduate of London Business School (LBS).

In the eyes of many parents, it's more important for children to get married than to pursue their dreams when they reach the so-called right age.

"Most MBA students are in their 30s as they attend the program after working for several years. So sometimes it's an awkward situation for us: we have to struggle between parents' expectations and our own wishes," said Gu.

To fulfill her parents' expectation, she decided to find a job at the beginning of her foreign study. For job preparation, she even sought internship with an investment bank at home.

"What I most liked about MBA program of LBS was that it offered me many possibilities to try out, through which it helped me identify what kind of job or profession was best suited to my personality," said Gu.

After the summer internship, she found investment bank not as attractive as she had thought, so she decided to cancel her plan of attending exchange program in the US and focused on job seeking in the autumn semester of 2015.

Gu Weiqi (third from left) poses in a group photo with her schoolmates of London Business School (LBS) in front of the National History Museum before the university's summer ball in London, July 17, 2016. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

At the annual Asian career fair held every October at LBS, she was lucky to find her "best fit" employer, an American pharmaceutical firm's Greater China branch in her hometown Shanghai.

"After getting the offer, I was also recruited by another large company in the same industry, but I decided to choose the former because I believe job seeking is about looking for your fit," said Gu.

She also wondered why a candidate without background in pharmaceutical like her could be recruited as a strategic manager in this field. "The vice-president of the HR told me that he thought all students from leading business school are competent. So the job interview is like dating and he believes in gut feeling."

After the graduation trip, Gu will fly back to Shanghai to have continuous "dates" with her "best fit" employer. And of course, she will reunite with her family and carry on dating her boyfriend who, as wished by her parents, comes from the same cultural background.

Editor: Monica Liu

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