Six Questions With Berkeley Global Access Programs Graduate Qiuyu Chen

From business to legal studies, Qiuyu discovers her true passion

Although Qiuyu Chen was majoring in accounting at Wuhan University (Wuhan, Hubei, China), she wasn’t sure if accounting—or business in general—was the right career to pursue after graduation. So the junior decided to look for study-abroad programs to help her uncover where her passion lies.

A self-proclaimed Golden State Warriors basketball team fan, Qiuyu chose UC Berkeley because of its close proximity to where the team plays—and its prestige as a university. Already studying business, Qiuyu applied to our Berkeley Haas Global Access Program for the fall 2017 semester.

“I was debating with myself on my career choice and the Haas Global Access Program was one of those tryouts in the process,” Qiuyu explains.

Qiuyu Chen (middle) met some great friends during her time studying at Berkeley!
Qiuyu Chen (middle) met some great friends during her time studying at Berkeley!

1. What was your experience taking courses at Haas?

I loved the people I met and they inspired me on a daily basis. For instance, there was a guest lecturer who is from a STEM background and who later committed to social entrepreneurship. For me, such a combination was astonishing.

As for the courses, my personal favorite was Entrepreneurship Workshop for Startups. I appreciated how the real-world setting in this course forced us to re-examine our own ways of communication, how to do a better job negotiating and how to act in a way that boosts group meeting efficiency. Those are all great lessons.

It’s also such a self-discovery journey. What my teammates and I were working on—to develop our own startup whose mission is to coach students toward developing a purpose-driven study and career plan—is of great importance to me. The deeper we dug into our customer profile, the more I realized that the anxiety was real: I’m not the only one who once suffered the anxiety. At the same time, the more we analyzed the data, the more possibilities I mapped out for myself.

2. So it’s at this point that you graduated from Berkeley Haas Global Access Program and transitioned to our Discover program. What legal studies–focused courses did you take?

A lot! Some of the best were Law and Rights in Authoritarian States, Global Poverty and Impact Evaluation, Future Digital Customer Protection and Cybersecurity Reading Group.

I was at a stage where I constantly debated with myself whether or not to pursue a J.D. after graduation. Taking Legal Studies courses was another tryout during the decision-making process.



It was an extraordinary intellectual experience.



3. And did you enjoy those classes?

Yes! Along the semester, I saw my perspective toward law and rights in authoritarian states constantly reshape and layer up. The professor knows the material and how to deliver it in the best way.

For each specific reading piece, I could see how it contributes to my understanding of the topic as a whole. Also, it’s amazing that my classmates can approach the same reading so differently. That really added the right amount of surprise to my learning experience.

It was an extraordinary intellectual experience.



Now I’m determined to pursue a J.D. and a lifetime commitment to social advocacy.



4. How has your education at Berkeley informed your future career goals?

Berkeley has inspired me on career choices in so many different ways. I remember one day, after I attended an event held by the Law School, I immediately wrote something like, “Wow, I want to put Impact Litigation on my checklist.” This realization—and too many others like it—makes me exploit my thoughts more thoroughly. It’s a gradual realization of what always excites me and the commonality they speak that push me to the next step.

Now I’m determined to pursue a J.D. and a lifetime commitment to social advocacy.

5. What were you top 5 things to do in Berkeley and the Bay Area?

  1. Spend some quality time at Dolores Park
  2. Get some workouts done in Berkeley Rec Sports
  3. Hike
  4. Sign up for events held by UC Berkeley School of Law
  5. Get all of my problem sets done on time



Be bold from the beginning.


6. What advice would you give to a student coming to study at Berkeley?

Be bold from the beginning. Of course, you will get accustomed to voicing your opinion later on. But try to put yourself out there at the very beginning. You’ll definitely make the best of your semester or year in Berkeley.

There are countless events and workshops taking place on- and off-campus every day. Find out that interests you the most and go!