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Meet Our "Future Leaders" | Turning Challenges into Achievements

NOV . 24 2021
Peking University, November 24: #Meet Our "Future Leaders"# is a featured series on stories of PKU Guanghua "Future Leaders" International Undergraduate Program students. It aims to introduce students in the program coming from PKU and our partner schools around the world to a wider community and share their experiences and thoughts before and after studying at PKU.

Today, we will introduce one of our "Future Leaders" program students, Florian Schwarz -- a young German man who values personal commitment and team spirit to transform challenges into achievements.

About Florian Schwarz


Florian Schwarz studied business administration at the University of Mannheim in Germany for two years. As part of the first "Future Leaders" Program cohort, he has continued his undergraduate studies in management at the Guanghua School of Management in Beijing. He grew up in Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany. Due to its great importance for the global maritime trade, it is also called "Das Tor zur Welt", which in English means "gateway to the world". Equipped with an open-minded and curious character, he enjoys acquiring comprehensive knowledge about global connections and developments and is always up for new challenges. He gained valuable practical experience in the Finance and Controlling department of one of the biggest manufacturers of premium cars worldwide. As a voluntary member in the UNICEF student group of the University of Mannheim, he took part in the collective organization of events and collected donations for charitable projects. In his spare-time, he likes playing music and spending a lot of time outdoors.
 

Making the impossible possible

I played field hockey for many years as a goalkeeper. Together with my team, I was able to win a total of three "Hamburg championships", which are important accomplishments for me. Of these three championships, the first one stands out. Our team played a good season and made it to the final round of the championship, in which we were anything but the favourites for the victory. Thanks to an outstanding performance in the semi-finals, we made it into the final, in which we played against the favourite. Despite the clear distribution of roles, everyone gave everything they had and fought for the victory. Thus, we were able to keep a draw in the regular time, which was followed by the penalty shootout which we eventually won. We didn't owe this victory to the performance of individuals or luck. It was clear to everyone that it was the team cohesion and the team performance that made this victory possible. The main message of this experience could also be summarized by "the whole was greater than the sum of its parts". I think that it is vitally important to always keep this wisdom in mind in the professional life, because that is what makes the impossible possible.  

Setting new goals and getting hands-on experience

In my free time, I spend a lot of time outside. I prefer cycling or going for a walk along the water. This provides a good balance to learning and helps to clear the mind. Besides that, I am a big fan of music. I have played the cello for many years, and I particularly enjoyed playing it in a large orchestra, with which I had two large concerts every year. In addition, I recently taught myself to play the piano. I always enjoy challenging myself, setting new goals and working towards them.
 

In addition, I try to get as much working experience as possible outside of the university, as it offers the possibility to use and deepen the theoretical knowledge in practice. As part of an internship at a large automobile manufacturer, I was able to work on strategic issues concerning the future of the automotive industry. Through the Integrated Practicum Project at the Guanghua School of Management, I gained additional valuable hands-on experience and skills, which prepares me for my professional career. Apart from that, I was engaged in volunteering at the University of Mannheim, where I, among other things, participated in the planning and execution of the annual running event, at which donations for charitable projects were collected.
 

Seizing the opportunity to study at PKU

When I first heard about the "Future Leaders" Program, I was instantly convinced that I wanted to take part, because this program is a unique opportunity to gain valuable international experience in a fascinating economic and cultural environment. China's rapid development over the last decades, which has brought huge changes to the society and the business world, has fascinated me for quite a long time. I was sure that the Guanghua School of Management is the right place to learn more about the underlying driving forces behind this transition, the different stages of the development process and the resulting opportunities and challenges, as it is one of the leading business schools in Asia and has an excellent international reputation for its academic teaching quality.
 

The program also offered the possibility to communicate with people from eleven different countries as well as improve my Mandarin skills by getting hands-on experience. On the one hand, this is great because it allows to dive deep into the Chinese culture. On the other hand, it also fosters cross-cultural understanding, which is crucial to create a brighter future for everybody. Beyond that, my first impression of Peking University's campus was simply stunning and beautiful, as it offers great facilities and dining options for students. The statements of some colleagues and friends about life in China encouraged my desire to study at Peking University for a longer period additionally.
 

Experiencing the great passion of everybody in the program

If I had to choose one thing which impressed me the most, I would say it is the passion everybody has for this program. It starts with the representatives of Peking University and all participating universities, who laid the foundation for this unique program. Moreover, there is the passion of the “Future Leaders” Program Team who diligently planned and implemented the details of the program. They do their best to give us the best possible experience at Peking University every day. It is also the professors and lecturers who convey the interesting lecture content to us in an interactive and clear manner. They are always open to questions and thought-provoking discussions. Last but not least, it is the passion of the students for the program’s content and the intercultural exchange. Everybody is eager to learn more about China and its economic, political, and cultural system. It is this passion which creates an environment that enables everybody in the program to personally grow and experience two wonderful years at Guanghua School of Management.

PKU Guanghua “Future Leaders” Program


Partnering with 15 of the world's best business schools, the Guanghua School of Management has founded the "Future Leaders" International Undergraduate Double-Degree Program that gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of their local markets while also immersing them in one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic economies in the world: China. This program will focus on admitting top students with outstanding leadership potential from Peking University and its partner institutions. After completing their first two years of study at the institution in their home country, students will live and study together with classmates of diverse backgrounds from all over the world, including students from China, for two more years as a single cohort at Peking University.

Source: PKU Guanghua School of Management