Meet Xingyu Ji
In English, the name “Xingyu” roughly translates to “wake up from stupid.” With a name like that one, you might imagine Xingyu Ji felt a lot of pressure growing up, but she loves her name and its significance. When Xingyu was born, her mother combined two different Chinese words to give her daughter a name imbued with her hopes and dreams for her. She also created a name whose characters take a full sixty seconds to scribble out on paper. Xingyu remembers taking exams in school and begging her teachers for one extra minute just so that she could write her name on the exam paper.
While Xingyu’s mother wanted her daughter to excel in school, she wanted more for her than book smarts and the ability to read and memorize texts. Xingyu’s mother understood the difference between mere cleverness and deep, probing intelligence. She hoped that as her daughter learned, she would ponder the meaning of things and discover connections that others couldn’t see. As Xingyu herself will tell you, it sometimes takes her a while to fully understand a piece of writing and commit it to memory, but once she does, the information is in there forever and the analysis she is able to make is profound. It seems she has lived up to her name.
Xingyu has the heart of an entrepreneur. A lover of extreme sports, Xingyu is fearless and not confined by structure or rules. She’s curious and questions everything. Her favorite form of recreation is bungee jumping. “I am always super excited because I love heights,” she says. “If I could choose, I’d want to be a bird.” As she dangles upside down looking at the world in reverse, she wonders if the “reality” we live in is real or just a set of rules we created. This ability to see things differently and question everything was heightened by a personal experience. When Xingyu was studying at university, her mother, a nurse who had spent her life caring for others, became ill and had to spend time in a hospital. Seeing her mother as the patient being cared for was “life-changing”? for Xingyu, and has had a lasting impact. She decided then that she wanted to work in the healthcare industry and improve it so that even more people can be helped and fewer children suffer the way she did. Before coming to business school at Babson, Xingyu had planned to work in the healthcare industry as a part of a large company. Now, she believes that the possibilities are endless and plans to start her own innovative business.
Having finished her first semester at business school, Xingyu is able to reflect on the process. Although she faced some challenges initially, she’s learned from them. She understands that the most important lesson in business school is how to effectively interact with and manage other people. Babson’s diverse student body has exposed Xingyu to different personalities and different cultures. She credits B-Speak! with helping to prepare her to interact with people from around the world and for giving her more confidence in general. Because of her ability to speak with and understand others, Xingyu has seen that every person has strengths and that good managers identify and encourage those strengths. She’s learned to consider problems from different angles and looks forward to coming up with solutions to whichever problems arise when she tackles her own business endeavor. Xingyu will continue to jump headfirst into new experiences the same way she does when she leaps off bridges with a bungee cord around her ankles—fearlessly!