Chinese students learn spirit of entrepreneurship at ASU

July 27, 2017

New program with Sichuan University teaches practical business advice, US culture

Twenty young Chinese people enthusiastically raised their hands when the teacher asked if they used the social app WeChat.

Too bad, he told them.

“The people in America that you’re going to want as resources — networkers, investors — are going to use email,” said Bob Schoenfeld, executive liaison for international student services at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“Email is the primary form of communication, and the way you use it is incredibly important.”

Email etiquette was just one part of American business culture that the young people, all students at Sichuan University, were learning during an intensive two-week program on entrepreneurship at ASU’s Tempe campus. They were in the first cohort of “Global Innovators,” sponsored by the W. P. Carey School of Business in partnership with the Entrepreneurship + Innovation unit of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU.

Bob Schoenfeld, executive liaison for international student services at the W. P. Carey School of Business, teaches English and American business culture. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

ASU has had a partnership for several years with Sichuan University, which recently received funding from the central government in China to build a program in entrepreneurship and innovation, according to Angela Zhou, senior project manager at ASU. The program funded most of the 20 students who are at ASU this month.

“Systemically, entrepreneurship has not been approached in China the way we do here today,” she said.

The Chinese are known as a manufacturing powerhouse, “but they want to innovate and have their own ideas,” Zhao said.

Shan He (pictured at the top of this story), an English language and literature major at Sichuan University, wanted to take the course…

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