Global Ambitions - Jingqiu Guan '11

Global Ambitions

Jingqiu Guan’s ambition has global proportions. That ambition brought her from her home in Chengdu, China, to Saint Mary’s, where she is now a double major in French and economics.

“I always wanted to go to a college versus a university because it’s smaller, the class-size is smaller, and you can really get a lot of interaction with professors,” says Jingqiu. “I chose to go to Saint Mary’s and I really like it.”

From dance and playing the piano, to her business and French courses, Jingqiu has the opportunity to explore her passions at Saint Mary’s. In her first year, she took a French course and fell in love with the language. A semester in Dijon, France, rounded out her language skills and her experience of French culture. Jingqiu’s goal is to travel the world, to pursue a career that combines business and promotion of the arts.

As her list of experiences grows, so does Jinqiu’s resume. She is building skills that companies look for in a college graduate. Study abroad, internships, volunteering, and leadership positions in student clubs—these are all opportunities that Jingqiu has taken advantage of at Saint Mary’s.

“I think the best part of being a Saint Mary’s student is that I’ve gotten a chance to discover what I like. I have the opportunity to experience different things,” Jingqiu says. “There are so many interesting things happening on campus. If you really want to try something, you always have the chance to do it.”

As a first-year student Jingqiu became a member of the Student Diversity Board (SDB) and the Saint Mary’s Dance Company. She is also president of the Around the World Club and has participated in the Student International Business Council (SIBC) at the University of Notre Dame.

“In the SIBC I learned about marketing, how a business plan works, how to make business plans. A group of us went to Chicago and made a presentation to a consulting firm about an agricultural business plan to sell fruit and trade in Ghana. They are sending people to Ghana to start the project soon,” she says. 

Jingqiu also initiated the Model UN program at Saint Mary’s. She traveled with fellow students to the University of California, Berkeley, to take part in a Model UN conference. There, she presented on economics and trading in Costa Rica. She plans to pursue a career with the UN later in life. 

The Model UN program wasn’t Jingqiu’s only opportunity to present her understanding of a complex topic. During a voting event at Saint Mary’s, she worked with economics professor Jerome McElroy on a presentation of the 2008 presidential candidates’ economic plans.

Saint Mary’s students often learn through presentations, along with group projects and research with their professors. It’s that kind of real-world application that Jingqiu says is preparing her for a career.

“I know what I want to do now,” Jingqiu says. “I think the professors are helpful and they give you advice. You talk to them and they offer direction to help you. The Career Crossings Office is also helpful. I have worked with them to apply for jobs and internships.” With the help of CCO staff, Jingqiu secured an arts management internship with the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York City during the summer of her sophomore year. The CCO was able to help her with the application process and give her interview tips, even while Jingqiu was studying abroad in France.

Now a junior, Jingqiu has been recognized for her high standards of personal excellence and scholarship and for her contribution to the College community. The College awarded her the Saint Catherine Medal this spring. It is a tribute to Jingqiu’s academic and artistic talents and her considerable contributions to Saint Mary’s. She received the award at Honors Convocation on Sunday, May 2. Click here to read more about Jingqiu and the Saint Catherine Medal.

Hear Jingqiu's story in her own words.