Fudan University graduate receives prestigious American fellowship

Li Weijie, from Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, has been named a McDonnell International Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. Li earned a degree from Fudan University, which is one of 27 premier universities from around the world partnered with Washington University in the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.

Li, who earned a bachelor’s of science degree majoring in both material physics and in economics from Fudan University in 2007, is pursuing a master of business administration degree at the Olin Business School at Washington University.

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In addition to being a McDonnell Academy Scholar, Li has been named the Boeing Corporate Fellow in the Academy, a position that offers special opportunities for internships and building ties to Boeing.

“We were delighted to recruit Li Weijie as the Boeing Corporate Fellow in the Academy,” says McDonnell International Scholars Academy Director James V. Wertsch, PhD, associate vice chancellor for international affairs and the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.

“This special award indicates the high regard that the Academy, the Olin Business School and Boeing have for him,” Wertsch says.

He has diverse academic and professional backgrounds. He studied both physics and economics at Fudan; gained work experience in the areas of finance, tax and capital market; and enjoys humanistic topics in his leisure time.

At Fudan University, he co-founded the Language Share Club and was awarded the People’s Scholarship for three years. He also was exempted from taking qualifying examinations for postgraduate study.

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy is a program for future global leaders to obtain PhD or master’s degrees. Employing an unusual approach, it brings together top scholars from Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America to pursue world-class education and research while forging a strong network with one another.

Key to this are partnerships Washington University has established with top universities and corporations around the world with an eye to increasing opportunities for joint research and global education.

The McDonnell Academy Scholars are expected to be future global leaders. As such, they are provided not only with a rigorous graduate education, but also with cultural and social activities designed to prepare them as leaders knowledgeable about the United States, other countries and critical international issues.

Li says that the McDonnell Academy will provide excellent resources for his career development and long-term career goal, which is to create a private equity fund that concentrates on development-stage private companies in China to enhance the prosperity of China’s private economy.

“As a potential business leader, it is really important for an MBA student to strengthen leadership and acquire diverse experiences both inside and outside the business domain,” Li says. “The program provides great chances for the scholars to develop effective leadership skills through various activities. I believe such exposure will prepare me with invaluable management experience for my career.

“Moreover, as my fellow scholars come from various academic, professional and cultural backgrounds, by exchanging the unique experience with each other and attending the events on different topics, I will gather abundant information of other areas and hence broaden my vision.”

Academy Ambassador

Once selected for this highly competitive program, each Academy Scholar is matched with a distinguished member of the Washington University faculty who serves as a mentor and also as an Academy “Ambassador” to the university partner from which the Scholar has graduated.

The Academy Ambassador assists the McDonnell Scholar in academic and professional life and travels annually with the Scholar to the partner university to build relationships between the two institutions.

James T. Little, PhD, the Donald Danforth, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Olin Business School, is Li’s faculty mentor-ambassador.

Little earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of British Columbia and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

He is academic director of the Olin Business School’s Executive MBA program both in St. Louis and in Shanghai, and directs the school’s London summer program in international finance. From 1983-89, he served as associate dean for academic affairs at Olin.

Little’s current research interests include the implications of globalization for corporate strategies, the economies of the European Union and China, and regulation of insurance companies.

In 2002, Little received a Distinguished Faculty Award from the Alumni Association of Washington University. His extensive experience as a lecturer in executive programs includes teaching in China as well as lectures in Europe.

Little is also a director and member of the executive committee of Millers First Insurance Companies and has served on the boards of several civic and not-for-profit institutions.

The McDonnell Academy

The McDonnell Academy Scholars receive funding for full tuition and living expenses for the time it takes to get a degree at Washington University. The Academy also provides support for an annual trip back to the Scholar’s alma mater. Many of the Scholars reside in two fully equipped and furnished apartment buildings near campus.

Funding is provided through a sustaining endowment gift from John F. McDonnell, vice chair of WUSTL’s Board of Trustees and retired chairman of the board of McDonnell Douglas Corp.

Additional support comes from 22 multinational corporations, foundations and individual sponsors. Sponsoring corporations also offer internships and on-site educational opportunities for the Academy’s Corporate Fellows.