An exclusive interview with the outstanding alumna Liu Jiayu: Nothing is impossible to a willing heart
As an outstanding alumna, Liu Jiayu was invited back to her alma mater to deliver a speech at the college’s Welcome Party for the Freshmen of 2020. From a shy freshman entering college to working abroad and travelling around the world after graduation; from being an exchange student in a five-star hotel in Thailand to working in the Burj Al Arab in Dubai…Liu Jiayu’s diverse social work experience makes the students on campus admire.
The outstanding alumna Liu Jiayu, a hotel management major admitted in 2010.
Currently a distinguished flight attendant lecturer of China Future Air
Q1：During the four years on campus, what is your most unforgettable experience of growing up?
In my junior year, the college allowed me to be an intern as an exchange student in a five-star hotel in Thailand. This experience made me deeply feel the precious quality of “sincerity”. I got the offer with my broken English and sincere smile. With my immature work experience and diligent working attitude, I have gained the care of my colleagues and praise from the guests.
Q2：What has been your biggest change in Gingko College? What are the reasons for the change?
I become confident. At the beginning of my freshman year, I actively participated in various activities and associations of the college. I joined the dance team and the cheerleading team and participated in many performances. I changed from a shy girl to a person daring to show myself.
When I joined the club, I served as the monitor and the assistant in the training room, which quickly helped me exercise my organizing and coordinating ability, and also made me more and more careful. This initially developed the rigorous style that a professional in the hotel industry should possess. I have assisted in the reception of many leaders, which helped me overcome my shyness. At the same time, I would choose to participate in some competitions that I think can exercise myself, such as Hotel Service Skills Competition, Tour Guide Talent Competition and Miss Tourism International. My confidence is getting stronger and stronger time and time again.
Here, I really appreciate that Gingko College has provided me with so many opportunities, which polish my competence and help me mature.
Q3：You mentioned that you participated in a lot of competitions for training abilities in college. How did you clarify your development direction when you were in college?
To be honest, when I entered college, I was also very confused and did not have a clear direction for development. But I knew that I couldn’t waste my time in college, play computer games and sleep in the dormitory. Therefore, my classmates said that I was very capable of struggling, and I have never skipped professional courses, and have got the necessary certificates as soon as possible. I was involved in nearly all the club activities and various skill competitions. I was also busy doing part-time jobs in the service industry on weekends and during the summer and winter vacations. Without being noticed, my professional skills and soft skills have been increasingly improved. Finally, I found my ideal job with the help of the employment platform provided by the college. Although I have left my alma mater after graduation, the motto of “Cultivating Service Awareness, Learning by Practicing” has always been inscribed in my mind.
Q4：I’ve heard that you often come back to visit your alma mater. Can you feel the changes of Gingko College every time you come back?
After graduation, the teachers are very concerned about my work and life overseas. At that time, I was fledgeling, having little work experience and didn’t know much about things. Thanks to the online assistance of the teachers, I got out of the confusion and depression again and again, and kept moving forward. After graduation, it was my first time to visit my alma mater recently because of the welcome party for the freshmen. In ten years, great changes have been made. The empty lawn has been turned into a playground, and a coffee training room has been built. The abilities and talents of the students on campus are better than those of ours, and Ginkgo College has developed better.
Q5:Looking back now, what do you miss most about Gingko College?
I miss most about the hotel training room at Gingko College. Because this is where I put the most effort and gain the most. I can’t remember how many times I have introduced the place, taken leaders to visit the place, taken younger students to practice training in the place, had practical training classes and organized activities here. This place is the signboard of my alma mater, and also my honor.
Q6:You were invited to return to your alma mater at the welcome party for the freshmen and to make a speech as an outstanding alumna. How did you feel while receiving this invitation?
I felt quite nervous and worried, because Ginkgo College has cultivated many outstanding alumni, and I had been thinking about what I could share with the younger students. At the welcome party for the freshmen, I shared my personal work experience with everyone and received warm applause from the younger students. I was very happy that the students could get insights and inspiration from my experience. At the party, I also communicated with Ginkgo leaders and other outstanding alumni and felt that I benefited a lot.
Q7:To chase dreams or to compromise with reality has always been a dilemma for college students when they graduate. You also have the pursuit of dreams, what do you think?
In my opinion, dream and reality are not contradictory. Dreams walk with one’s heart; reality walks with one’s feet. A determined heart with action will lead to success.
Take me as an example. I have been dreaming of becoming a flight attendant on a plane flying in the blue sky. If I have an interview for a flight attendant in China, I may be rejected in the first interview because that’s not my major and my appearance is not outstanding enough. But I don’t want to give up. When I realize that foreign airlines attach more importance to service awareness, I know my previous hotel work experience can be an advantage. Foreign airlines are also less strict about personal appearance because employees come from all over the world and it is difficult to measure beauty with one standard. However, foreign airlines attach great importance to English proficiency, so I practised my spoken English and studied aviation English, and I approached my dream through my efforts bit by bit. I would like to share a sentence I have seen before: “There is no poetry or distant field which one can’t reach in his life. There is only confusion and hesitation which holds one back.” Therefore, first, hold the correct attitude that dreams are not fantasies, and then analyze your own strengths and weaknesses based on your dreams, so as to make implementable plans and work hard to make your dreams come true. In this way, dreams and reality will not conflict.
Q8:You have a lot of international work experience, of which many students are envious. People usually are afraid of working overseas because they are worried about their poor English, or they are not brave enough. Do you have any experience with overcoming these difficulties to share with us?
First of all, I want to help younger students to build up self-confidence. It is a common problem among contemporary students that they are afraid to speak out for fear of their poor English. But when you are living and working overseas (except for studying abroad or doing academic researches), language is only a tool for communication, as long as you can make others understand what you want to express. When I worked in the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, I met many Chinese bosses who talked business with foreign clients. They could only speak a few words in English, but they were able to do business with clients through voice translation software, a few English words used occasionally and body language without any difficulty.
No matter how poor you think your English is, I think our contemporary college students are bound to do better than those who have never been exposed to systematic foreign language learning. So build up your self-confidence, and dare to speak and express.
Second, learn to respect to be appreciated. Respect the cultural customs of other countries, do not break taboos, do not freely make religious remarks. Respect every opportunity for an interview. Prepare for it, and put in the effort to do so. I remember when I participated in the interview for the internship in Thailand in my junior year, I was faced with the problem of typical “mute English”. But I took a serious attitude to learn about the cultural customs of Thailand, carefully recite my English self-introduction, and prepare for the questions often asked in interviews, which I recited and practised in front of the mirror every day after asking the teacher to help with revision. During the interview, although I could not understand the interviewer’s English very well, I tried my best to grasp the keywords, answered the questions carefully. I said sorry if I could not express myself properly, and I kept smiling. Finally, I succeeded in getting the offer. The interviewer said to me that they know my English was not very good, but they believed that I would work harder, and what they valued is my sincerity.
So you should cherish every opportunity for an interview, and prepare for it carefully. The interviewer surely will see your efforts. Finally, you don’t have to think that working overseas is out of your reach. To put it simply, working overseas is just to change an environment to work and live. Besides, the overseas internship units that cooperate with the college are all big groups and enterprises with a reputation in the industry, with strict management, unified standards, perfect systems, which are open and transparent. As long as we work hard, we will learn and achieve a lot. In daily life, there are many overseas Chinese, who will be very warm-hearted to help each other if there is a problem.
Q9:How to plan your college life? How to set a clear direction in life?
I want to share two sentences with younger students.
First, “Every little thing you have worked for will make a difference someday.”
You must learn professional knowledge well and participate in more activities and social practices held by the college because opportunities are always reserved for those who are prepared. For example, every turning point in my career was not in my plan at the beginning, but it was an opportunity given to me because my job was recognized by others. As a result, the knowledge and abilities that you accumulate bit by bit will be appreciated by your talent-spotter one day in the future.
Second, “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”
This sentence accompanied me to grow up. When I wanted to be a flight attendant in a foreign airline, almost everyone thought it was a daydream. However, please don’t care about what others think, and don’t be afraid of failure. You may fail if you try, but you are bound to fail if you never try. But that doesn’t mean everything will be available at your fingertips when you just think about it. You must make enough efforts to gain what you deserve.
“The Most Beautiful Female College Student in Sichuan” of 2019
Gao Jing, female, Han nationality, born in February 1998, is a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) from Liangshan, Sichuan Province. She was an undergraduate student in the Department of Tourism Management of Gingko College of Hospitality Management, who was admitted in 2017.
She acted heroically and helped Gao Jian Police Station of Xichang Municipal Public Security Bureau to block the illegal personnel who tried to escape. In December 2017, she declared the project “Publicity and Education of Civilized Tourism in Tourist Clusters—Taking Chengdu as an Example”, which was successfully selected into the Ten Thousand Tourism Talents Program of National Tourism Administration, and was included in the first batch of Outstanding Achievement Collection of Ten Thousand Tourism Talents Program and published. In July 2018, she founded the project of “A Community Platform for Life Network in the Countryside”, and won the first prize of the provincial competition as well as the first prize of the national competition in the 8th National College Student E-commerce “Innovation, Originality and Entrepreneurship” Challenge.
Running with the Dream
An exclusive interview with Mao Xin, the Cooking and Catering Consultant on Yibin Campus of Gingko College
If it is common in modern society to use labels to introduce a person intuitively, then “handsome”, “sunny”, “energetic”, “polite and thoughtful” are the labels given to Mao Xin when meeting him for the first time. The modest gentleman who is low-key and humble, and the elite of the industry who is deeply hidden, are the additional labels given to Mao Xin after getting to know him for the first time.
Mao Xin went to Canada alone at the age of 17 and worked hard in the catering industry in a foreign country. As the only Chinese who was invited to participate in the Canadian reality show “Top Chef”, Mao Xin decided to return home to teach the youngsters who are eager to learn, in order to inherit the food culture. As the Cooking and Catering Consultant on Yibin Campus of Gingko College of Hospitality Management, Mao Xin (Frank) has stepped on the road of a chef`s crossover.
Braving the winds and waves in the competition
Being the only Chinese contestant in the competition
If you are fortunate enough to follow a Canadian TV show “Top Chef”, you will be attracted by the Asian contestant with black hair, yellow skin and the signature grin showing eight teeth. Compared with more than 20 North American contestants, he looks unique. He is Mao Xin, who has stood out from more than 5,000 contestants and has become the only “top chef” holding a Chinese passport in the show’s eight seasons.
This chef competition, which is famous in the industry for its high standards and professionalism, has become an arena for people in the industry to compete. After breaking out of the siege from a sea of thousands of candidates, he still had to compete with more than 20 top players face to face. Mao Xin was like a fighter full of energy, without a trace of fatigue on his face. In the show, he did not lose the professional precision accumulated in the industry for many years, and he was able to add creative ideas into the dishes, escape the traditional and rigid ways of thinking about cooking, and cook a series of Mao’s flavors in limited time, which was highly recognized. As a Chinese, Mao Xin naturally and generously shared his thoughts and journeys in fluent English in front of the camera, as well as the loving interaction with other players, which made everyone have more and more favorable impression of this sunny boy.
The Vancouver Sun even spared a full-page interview with Mao Xin in- depth, trying to find the “ratatouille” hidden in his chef hat. But he generously told us: “All mysteries come from incomparable love.”
Creating new dishes by combining Chinese cuisine with western cuisine
Conquering the taste buds of foreigners by mind and craftsmanship
Laughing, chatting, loving to make friends, and an outgoing personality help Mao Xin open the door to cooking. “Dishes can quickly shorten the distance between people. Whether cooking or tasting, there is interaction and sharing between friends. This warm atmosphere is the environment for making friends that I enjoy very much.” In this way, Mao Xin walks on the path to become a professional chef who uses his interest as a mentor.
As a Chinese who pursues his career in North America, Mao Xin is not only just a transmitter of Chinese food culture, but also ingeniously combines Italian cuisine with traditional Chinese cuisine. When asked the reason for the combination of these two cuisines, he always patiently explains that, to some extent, the flavors of Italian cuisine are similar to those of Chinese cuisine, so that one only needs to change some thoughts to create sparks of a Chinese-Italian flavor on the tip of the tongue.
“Too many people think that chefs mainly rely on taste buds and craftsmanship, which are just the basic requirements of a profession, and creativity is often the key.” Mao Xin, who has been influenced by Chinese and Western cultures, is more eager to promote Chinese cuisine than his peers. While he introduces the Chinese food culture to the west, he learns from western food to serve Chinese food. “Kong Pao Chicken is a Chinese delicacy that foreigners love. Considering that foreign beef is of great meat quality, we simply jump out of the original rules and change Kung Pao Chicken to Kung Pao Beef to see whether foreigners will pay for it.” Mao Xin revealed that Chinese cuisine tailored to local flavors has been well received.
Adhering to his passion for cooking, Mao Xin adds his thoughts to cooking, uses his magical hands to conjure, and audaciously combines the spices that seem impossible to blend, which leads to surprises. From the beginning of serving dishes and wiping the table, to running restaurants and developing advanced culinary techniques today, Mao Xin takes one step at a time. Moreover, Mao Xin said besides diligence, thinking is a very important thing on the way to growth.
Making a crossover with a dual identity as a chef and teacher
Transferring the correct knowledge and concept of the industry
Because of decades of industry experience as well as profound and unique insights into food culture, Mao Xin is deeply aware that culture must be passed on. He wants to seek a new place, to teach all his refined skills and cognition. After thinking twice, he chooses to return to China and become a consultant for the teaching hotel on Yibin campus of Gingko College.
Teaching one how to fish is better than giving him fish. Teaching cooking is not complicated, but teaching ideas cannot be accomplished in a day. As Mao Xin said, the transmission of culture and ideas is a slow process of immersion. “I want to use my strength to help friends in other industries know more about this profession and to encourage students majoring in hotel management to maintain their confidence and enthusiasm in this profession. Professional Cooking is not just about adding the oil and tossing, but a manifestation of perfect service and exquisite pursuit, a feeling of respect and awe to the industry, and an expression of an attitude towards improving the quality of life.”
Changing from a “top chef” in North America to a consultant in Gingko College, the chef who has made a crossover to teaching is influencing more people with his passion.
Cheerleading Team of Gingko College: uniting as one, they have told their stories by flowers and applause.
Cheerleading is a sport which is a combination of dance, gymnastics, music, fitness, and entertainment, so it’s always relevant to words like “hot-blooded”, “young”, “sunny” and so on. Since the establishment of the College Cheerleading Team in 2011, adhering to the interest in cheerleading, students of Ginkgo College have made the team keep developing and upgrading. 2020 is the ninth year of the establishment of Ginkgo College Cheerleading Team. This year, the 37-member team led by Ning Han, a teacher from the Department of Leisure and Sports Management, which was captained by Wen Yijie, the team leader, went on to win the championship in the 2020 Sichuan Aerobics Championships. Because of love, they get together; because of love, they march forward bravely.
Uniting as one, they have told their stories by flowers and applause.
Practicing hard day by day
Shedding tears in the gym room
With the passing by of Start of Winter and the arrival of Light Snow, a vast expanse of whiteness can always be seen in one’s breath at night. In the climate when people just want to get into bed to keep warm, when passing by the gym room every Sunday to Thursday, one can always see the sweaty cheerleaders wearing thin shirts who are practicing hard.
“The girl was practicing the splits and the two boys helped to hold her front and back legs to prevent them from bending. The girl gritted her teeth and tried to move her weight down, trying to get down to the ground. The expression on her face showed her pain evidently.” For cheerleaders, this is a familiar scene.
Every year, the College Cheerleading Team follows the principle of voluntary participation and recruits new students from all departments in the college. There is no rigid requirement for basics, and the team can be joined out of deep love. As a result, team members of different levels make regular training urgent. Regardless of winter cold or summer heat, daily training is unshakable. Some cry with fatigue; some cry with pain; some grit their teeth with a determined effort; and some even conclude that “it’s easier to practice the splits in winter than in summer.”… This is the unknown hardship behind the glamorous cheerleading team on stage.
Forming a good habit of mutual help
Highlighting the team cohesion
Uniting hand in hand for a better future together, the College Cheerleading Team has experienced Version 1.0 of formation, Version 2.0 of development to present Version 3.0 of a leap. Regular training helps the team members better understand and get familiar with each other, which also paves the way for the team cohesion necessary in competitions. A perfect cheerleading performance not only examines the patterns, creativity and skills of formation changes but also examines the integrity of the team’s uniformity. Difficult performances such as lifting and thirty-two fouetté turn take a long time to prepare, which is also conducive to the formation of tacit understanding and trust among the team members.
During the preparatory period of each provincial competition, there are always team members who retreat and doubt their abilities due to problems such as huge pressure and difficult movements. The team members often get together to cheer each other up, and even accompany each other and train together to help their teammates refine their movements, telling each other that they are not fighting alone by action. Before the game, the members will shout slogans together, shout out the doubts and pressure in their hearts, and show the spirit of Ginkgo College Cheerleading Team.
Like-minded friendship and perseverance are the two biggest treasures the team members have gain in the cheerleading team.
Reaping rewards for tears and sweat
Winning glory for Gingko College with passion
With unremitting efforts, the College Cheerleading Team has represented the college in city competitions, provincial competitions, and national competitions, and has achieved many good results. Each medal of honor has made Ginkgo College Cheerleading Team enjoy a high reputation.
They all say that they will maintain the most diligent life and the most inspirational dream, and entering the national finals and going abroad for competitions has become the highest goal pursued by the College Cheerleading Team. Even though the veterans are graduating and the new team members are laying the foundation, the team`s passion will not fade. As the ginkgo leaves in Gingko College, they will wither and fall in autumn and winter, but they will sprout and flourish again in spring and summer.