China Diaries of BLS Law Librarian: Part 4: International M.B.A. Students

Last night, Eric, Grace, Jane and Nina, four exceptional students in Peking University’s international M.B.A. program, honored Ken and me by dining with us at Quan Ju De in the TUS (Tsinghua University Science) Park. The students selected this restaurant–Quan Ju De serves exceptional Beijing roast duck. In an elegant private dining room, we talked for hours and enjoyed wonderful food. Our duck was outstanding, and it even had a pedigree! Eric kindly showed us how to maximize our enjoyment of the roast duck by adding sweet onions and sauce, and wrapping everything in a thin pancake. Also, I have become a huge fan of flower tea.

Our student hosts work for multinational corporations such as Deloitte, International Systems and Röder. Like some BLS students I know, these students balance demanding full-time jobs and graduate course work. Grace even carved out time to learn traditional Chinese drumming so that she could perform (with other classmates) in the school’s New Year’s celebration. In future, Grace hopes to study finance at Fordham University’s graduate business school, so I might be able to show her some of the highlights of NYC.

These students explained that their “working language” is English. Many of the contracts that they review (as part of their work for multinationals) are written in English. The students noted that Chinese characters can have different meanings and need to be read in context. Thus, sometimes it avoids ambiguity to draft documents in English. We had an interesting discussion in which we compared features of civil law and common law-oriented systems.

Since BLS law students and their future clients will be sitting across the negotiating table from Eric, Grace, Jane and Nina, I want to emphasize that these Peking University graduate M.B.A. students are poised, friendly, bright, hard-working and fluent in English. They are well-prepared to serve as China’s future business leaders. I plan to remain in e-mail contact with these students, so that when some of them have the opportunity to travel to New York, I can arrange for them to meet BLS law students.

Thank you, Jane, for organizing such a wonderful dinner meeting!

Eric, Grace, Nina, Jean, Ken and Jane enjoy a memorable dinner together