The Ameson Foundation was proud to co-host the US-China Student Career Forum on March 26th at George Washington University's Funger Hall together with Zhimaqiao.com. Under the aegis of its Professional Pathways Program (PPP) and with the support of many Chinese student associations from around the United States, Ameson brought together almost 300 graduating international students to discuss the question: “Stay or go?” This quandary represents the range of issues and concerns that face graduating international students as they prepare to start their careers, either at home or abroad. The forum began with a series of main addresses, followed by two focused panel discussions, two special workshops, a career fair, and an evening reception. This set of events was highly publicized in both traditional and social media outlets and was covered by reporters from People’s Daily, the US-China Press, Sing Tao Daily, Voice of America, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Mr. Lawrence Rzepka, Ameson’s Director of Development, opened the forum by welcoming the distinguished guests, members of the media, and students in the audience and then introducing the Ameson Foundation and the goals of the event. Following the opening remarks by Mr. Rzepka, Ameson’s Executive Vice Chairman, Sean Zhang, announced the establishment of Ameson’s Ghali Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali Endowed Fund for Cultural Exchange in memory of the late Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Honorary Chairman of the Ameson Foundation. The endowed fund has the full support of Dr. Boutros-Ghali’s widow, Lea Boutros-Ghali. The text of her letter in support of the endowment can be found here.
After these important announcements, the master of ceremonies, Mr. Nathan Montgomery, Communication Manager at the Ameson Foundation, introduced several distinguished speakers from both the public and private sector to address students on a variety of relevant topics. Speakers for the session included the following:
After the opening session concluded, participants attended one of two concurrent panels, one focusing on finance and accounting, and another addressing the fields of consulting and STEM. This segment encouraged a higher degree of audience interaction and allowed attendees to delve deeper into questions unique to their areas of specialization, and that may decide their future careers.
Following the panel discussions, two workshops were hosted by specialists on topics particularly relevant for students interesting in exploring career options in the United States. Dr. Gregory M. Weight, President of the Washington Internship Institute, gave an engaging presentation on techniques for landing the ideal internship in Washington, D.C, and Dr. Cheng Shaoming, the head of a law firm specializing in immigration law, discussed the visa questions that international students face upon graduation.
After the addresses and panel sessions, most attendees moved into the lobby, where representatives from several large companies, including Phillips, IBM, and China Telecom USA, had set up tables to answer questions, collect resumes, and give career advice to students interested in their industry. The interaction with corporate representatives provided participants, newly armed with insights gained during the forum, with an excellent chance to engage with employers in a meaningful way.
In the evening, Ameson’s Executive Vice Chairman, Sean Zhang, hosted the 2016 Ameson Spring Reception. Following his opening remarks, Ameson’s Deputy Director, Mr. Zhu Xiao Di, and Ms. Jessica Zheng, Marketing Director at Zhimaqiao.com, made brief welcome speeches to the nearly 300 attendees present at the event. The night provided attendees with a chance to mingle with students, professionals, and community leaders from around country and D.C. metro area while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, live music and dance, and beautiful vistas of Washington, D.C.’s skyline.
Through its Professional Pathways Program, the Ameson Foundation seeks to build bridges between nations and cultures by providing young graduates with the information they need to decide where they will have the most impact in the future. Ameson is confident that as young professionals, these individuals will bring diversity and global outlooks to the workplace and society wherever they may decide to pursue their careers.