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2020-01-14

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A trio of National Chi Nan University students placed second in a nationwide “Young HPV Fighters” challenge organized by the Formosa Cancer Foundation, beating out 21 other contenders with a courtroom drama titled “Guilty or Not? Watch to Find Out.”

The four seniors from the NCNU Department of International Business Studies — surnamed Hsieh, Yu, and Yang — were among the few contestants who did not come back from a medical or public health background. Instead, as business students, they took on the interdisciplinary challenge of promoting awareness of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, among their peers.

As former student committee members of the Department of International Business Studies, their partnerships deepened through collegial clubs and advanced corporate studies. That summer, in search of garnering more real-life experience, they set a goal of entering at least two competitions and began researching for opportunities online.

Upon reading about the “Young HPV Fighters” challenge, the trio met daily to brainstorm, eventually putting together a dramatic presentation that saw plastic bags upgraded into costumes and classrooms transformed into court rooms.

Hsieh, who stars as the judge in their award-winning public awareness video “Guilty or Not? Watch to Find Out,” traveled extensively as a child due to her parents’ job duties. Proficient in English, Japanese, Korean, and Dutch, the polyglot is now looking to start her career in business management, noting that NCNU’s courses were successful in their emphasis on team work and problem-solving training.

Yu, who plays the role of the defense lawyer in the video, added that internships, club activities, and class projects at NCNU have offered ample time and space for exploring new knowledge. Such experience has led Yu to become more committed to her chosen field of marketing management, while remaining attentive to the opportunities offered by the mass communications sector.

Yang, who portrayed the HPV virus as an unsuspecting antagonist, joined NCNU via an early placement program organized by the Ministry of Education to pursue academic studies away from the distractions of urban living. Using demographics and social media analysis, Yang successfully garnered 10,000 hits for the project video by applying behavioral models to NCNU students.s

Attributing the trio’s success to training under Chen Ching-i, an associate professor with the Department of International Business Studies, Yang revealed that he has taken up interdisciplinary challenges in real life, including enrolling in Vietnamese language courses not required by the business department, as well as studying Korean and website management outside of class. Having been accepted by the graduate programs of both National Taiwan University (NTU) and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST), Yang said his career aspirations lie with technology management.

The practice of sharpening one’s whetstone in independent challenges has been a longstanding tradition amongst NCNU business majors. Recent accolades include the awards for community empowerment and planning in the “2018 TiC100 (Talentrepreneurship Innovation Collaboration)” challenge spearheaded by Advantech, and second place in the “Female College Students Leadership Training Program” held by the Ministry of Education’s Youth Development Administration. Competition winners often cite the freedom and resources provided by the business department.

The Department of International Business Studies was founded upon the principles of promoting interdisciplinary knowledge, and this spirit is carried on among by many like Wang Ming-chieh, the department director who toils physically and emotionally to encourage creativity and bravery among his students. Teamwork is both collaborative and competitive, he says.

Specializing in the fields of economics and financial management, Wang has spared no effort persuading his students to explore the world beyond the school campus and enhance their appreciation for mobility. Now, an annual average of 20 students from this department embark on internships in China or Southeast Asia. As for this year’s Southbound Study Abroad Program sponsored by the Ministry of Education, grantees include nine NCNU business students.

Taiwan, as a small export-oriented nation, relies on foreign-language talents to drive its economic engine. Apart from offering courses in English, the Department of International Business Studies also assists students who desire to pursue a secondary language, programs for which are available in French, German, and a wide range of Southeast Asian languages.

The department maintains an expansive network of Taiwanese corporate opportunities in South East Asia, Wang explains, and such internship programs lower the financial burden for participating students as well. By increasing their international mobility, students graduate with a higher degree of fluency in their choice of language, he added.

The director also pointed out with confidence that his department was once again the leading choice for students applying from abroad, and that not a single student applied to leave the department in the past couple of years. The Department of International Business Studies also enjoys the highest degree of student satisfaction among the five departments of the NCNU College of Management, all because of teamwork, he says.

He also called attention to the department’s junior prerequisite course on enterprise case studies as being a unique advantage that is not offered by any other university in Taiwan. In its decades-long history, the program has been mapping out global corporate strategies, sharpening skills such as systematic and wide-ranging analysis, and preparing students for independent competitions and real-life challenges.

Two years back, his students helped repackage weirdly shaped or odd-sized fruits into organic dried fruit chips to help farmers recoup their losses, Wang said, in a marketing campaign that creatively integrated resources, resolved the root issue, and gave back to the community.

The Department of International Business Affairs also holds the wildest and most creative Haunted House event every year. The autumn centerpiece event of NCNU student life is planned and carried out by a different student team every year that oversees the operations of marketing, ticketing, event organizing, and other leadership skills equally applicable to corporate work.

Progress is fueled by both inheritance and innovation of knowledge, Wang concluded. Adhering to its current path of sustainable development and teambuilding, the department is confident in its lead ahead of other business programs in Taiwan.

(Interviewed by Zoe Cheng; Photographed by Jack Yu; Translated by Min Chao)

Those who are interested in learning more about the professor and his field can contact Professor Wang at mcwang@ncnu.edu.tw.

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