[Editor's note] As we enter college admissions season, we hope to provide an insider’s account of the College of Engineering. In order to do so, we interviewed six current students about their life at Peking University. The series will contain six interviews. Shaoxin Wang is a sophomore majoring in Energy and Resources Engineering. He currently serves as chairman of the Student Union. He has received many honors including “All-round Student of Peking University,” “Tang Zhongying Scholarship of Peking University” and the “Undergraduate Practice Opportunity Scholarship.”
Q: Why did you choose COE?
A: COE integrates theory with practice very closely. My everyday studies not only lay a solid theoretical foundation for me but also allow me to have a good understanding of how to apply the knowledge I have learned to industry. COE’s undergraduate courses are different from those of traditional institutions of engineering. It draws upon the historical liberal arts and mathematics resources of Peking University, and undertakes world-class innovative approaches toward education.
Q: What kind of platforms COE has provided for your studies and research?
A: As soon as we entered COE, each student was assigned to faculty member whom acted as a tutor to care for our individual needs. Take my tutor, Professor Dong Wang, for example. During my two years of university life, I have received lots of advice and help from him, which is absolutely beneficial for my future development.
Secondly, at the beginning of sophomore year, we choose our majors according to our interests. Applications to carry out research in related laboratories were generally approved by lab members, who are subsequently very patient to guide students to conduct research.
Moreover, COE encourages students to participate in various design contests, such as the “Challenge Cup” to apply our knowledge to real life.
Q: Does COE care about the students’ after-school life?
A: Yes, in many ways. In sports, COE attaches great importance to events such as “the Freshmen Cup," "PKU Cup” and PKU Track and Field. COE also hosts a wide range of sports activities on basketball, billiards, and badmintons every year. We also have formed sports teams, such as the basketball team, football, volleyball and badminton teams.
In music and arts, choral competition, Karaoke Contests and the New Year's party have no doubt provided very good stages for students to display their talents.
We also have lots of extracurricular activities including "Engineering Cultural Festival," “Afternoon Tea with Dean,” "Engineering forum," "Enterprises Visit" and "Model Airplane Exhibition .” Through these activities, students have close communication with College leaders, academics and industry leaders, and gain more understanding of the enterprises.
Q: How have you grown since you entered Peking University?
A: In terms of learning, I have gained a deeper understanding of independent study. Independent study does not just mean getting to know the textbooks, but also figuring out the knowledge related to what you have learned through your own efforts.
In terms of personal growth, the college provides good platforms to improve our communication and leadership skills. For me personally, I started as a clerk of the Student Union and later became chairman. It’s a process that really put me through a lot of exercise.
In addition, the College has opened our minds to the world. With recommendation from COE, I participated in many summer projects and foreign exchange activities, during which I not only had the opportunity to communicate face to face with presidents of many foreign universities, but also made many friends of the same age from Brazil, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc.
Q: What advice do you have for incoming freshmen about university and major selection?
A: I think being interest-oriented is very important. We must choose a major consistent with our own interests, so that we will enjoy our future studies and career. In addition, do not blindly listen to others, as the person who really knows you is yourself. Consider other people's words but make your own decisions. For unclear things, you must figure them out yourself, rather than blindly following others. I wish you all the best on the honor roll!