University of Iowa graduate Steve Liu ties his memories of living in Iowa City closely with the UI and, more specifically, Iowa football.
“One of my favorite things about living in Iowa City was going to Hawkeye football games and, if the Hawkeyes won, watching post-game coverage and analysis,” he said. “I also loved watching the homecoming parades, visiting local farmers, and tasting their fresh produce.”
Steve Liu (M.B.A, accounting ’02, M.Ac. accounting ‘04) and four other alumni - Yichen Wang (B.B.A. finance, B.S. mathematics ‘14) Jinn Li (M.S. actuarial science ‘12), Joy Chen (B.B.A. finance ‘14) and Ruihao Min (B.B.A. marketing and economics ‘13) - are trying to bring that Hawkeye spirit back to China with the newly-founded Beijing IOWA Club.
“When I went back to Beijing after graduation, I always missed my days in Iowa and the days spent with my friends in Iowa,” said Joy Chen. “My life in Iowa means a lot to me, it represents my youth. Thus, when I knew that we had a chance to start an alumni club in Beijing, I immediately decided to help with it.”
“After I knew that there were a lot of UI alumni living in Beijing, I thought it would be very helpful to build up a platform for us UI graduates to share our resources and stories,” Yichen Wang said.
The alumni were driven to start the club for the sake of reveling in the past, creating professional and personal connections, and staying true to the what they learned at the UI.
“We were inspired to start this club by the ideology of giving back to the community, as taught by the University of Iowa,” Ruihao Min said.
In mid-May, the five alumni helped host the first official Beijing IOWA Club gathering. It was an opportunity for UI graduates to get together to reconnect with acquaintances and make new friendships while hearing about current activities and ambitions of the UI’s Tippie College of Business from Professor Alice Wang.
“I hope this club can become a platform for Beijing UI alumni to get together, share our precious experiences, both in work and life, and help more alumni to find their home and sense of belonging through alumni activities,” Jinn Li said.
Building on this successful inaugural event, the Beijing IOWA Club leaders had the opportunity to converse with International Programs staff in June about how to continue engaging alumni in Beijing and beyond.
“Support from the university and the UI Alumni Association is highly valued for the Beijing IOWA Club, especially now when it is still in its early development,” Steve Liu said.
Although the Beijing IOWA Club only has one event under its belt, Liu has already seen the benefits of nurturing these alumni connections.
“We have smooth and candid communication with alumni about business and a wide range of other topics,” Liu said. “The connections are as if we had known each other for a long time when, in fact, we are just starting to get to know each other.”