Logo: University of Southern California

Viterbi Interns Conduct Market Research and Event Planning in China

Quartet finds that BBS systems appear to be a promising way to connect with Chinese students
September 25, 2009 —

At the Viterbi School Shanghai office: (from left) interns Claire Pan and Judy  Gu; China Office Director Chris Leung; interns Tina Ren and Henry Zhu.
Three international students have recently completed a summer internship with the USC Viterbi China Office; while a fourth is due to conclude shortly. These four students “have accomplished a lot in the last three weeks” according to Director of the China Office Chris Leung.

According to Leung, highlights of the interns’ work included a large amount of market research to help Viterbi more fully understand China’s cultural and educational landscape. They also developed original ideas for future Viterbi events and initiatives in China.

The interns have revealed fresh methods for USC to effectively communicate with Chinese students through online social networks, including Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), a software server that allows users to leave messages and information of common interest and is highly popular among young Chinese.

The students also assisted the China Office in planning information sessions for Viterbi Masters and Ph.D degree programs. These events will be held in five cities across China the last week of October.

Session agendas include presentations on topics including degrees available at USC, How to Apply, Scholarships, and Student Life. In addition potential applicants will have the chance to ask questions of Viterbi staff and mingle with USC students and alumni.

The intern program has been a valuable experience for those involved. Zhu says that “I could really directly contribute to the growth of Viterbi in China and  share my ideas freely.” Ren adds “Almost every day we had a discussion and exchanged ideas… I learned much during this internship period.”

Claire Pan recently graduated from Fudan University in China and will be studying abroad in the United Kingdom. Judy Gu is currently is currently an undergrad at USC. Tina Ren is a student at Shanghai Normal University. Harry Zhu recently transferred from Fudan University to Northwestern University in the United States.

The success of the China Office student intern program is set to continue:  Leung is in the process of hiring new interns for the upcoming semester.