Jiekun Zheng was drawn to the University of Delaware right away when deciding where to study after high school. Newark, Delaware couldn’t be more different from Zheng’s hometown of Fuzhou, China but UD’s diversity and technology appealed to him.
“A big motivation was the location and the technology!” Zheng said. “We’re close to New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. It is kind of like the midpoint on the East Coast. I just saw myself locating to the nice and peaceful Newark.”
In the fall of 2021, Zheng graduated from UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics after just three and a half years of study. During his time at UD, he triple majored in global enterprise management, operations management and marketing. He made an impression on the Blue Hen community both inside and outside the classroom, balancing his studies with extracurricular activities and an active social life.
Zheng shared that he grew personally and professionally during his time at UD, “A lot of my soft skills have improved, like my presentation and speaking skills. I would say time management as well. I prefer the old-fashioned way and I use planners. In the morning, I open my planner, it is the first thing I look at to see what’s going on and what things I need to do.”
Additionally, Zheng shared that his understanding of English improved dramatically as he progressed through his education.
“I used to struggle sometimes with understanding English in my classes,” Zheng said. “I had to ask professors to speak a little slower. It would drive me crazy, but now I’ve gotten used to the language.”
Zheng impressed many professors throughout his undergraduate studies with his enthusiasm and proactive approach towards learning. Both Assistant Professor of Strategic Management Tom Tao and Instructor of Operations Management Susan Murphy had high praises for his work ethic.
Tao shared that he considers Zheng to be the “kind of student that keeps reminding faculty that all the efforts that went into course preparation are worth it. He was a great leader in the simulation competition and a significant contributor to the success of the class by being active in discussion, case analysis and debate.”
“Jiekun is a personable, diligent and serious student– and teaching him has been a great experience for me,” said Murphy. “He always seems so excited to learn new material– and is so enthusiastic during lectures. His commitment to professionalism and quality is far above his peers. Jiekun is exactly the kind of student a UD professor would want and I suspect he will be incredibly successful in his future endeavors for all these reasons.”
When Zheng was not busy studying, he found relaxation in many different places around campus. “I really liked the indoor swimming pool, UDairy and the farm as well,” Zheng shared. “When I would feel a lot of pressure, I would go to the farm around midnight. It’s a good time to go and relax. When I felt a lot of pressure while taking all business courses, I used the farm to ease my stress.”
He explained that, despite the hard work, his favorite class was BUAD441, Strategic Management. “I learned a lot of interesting things,” Zheng said. “The first half of class was learning theory and at week three we worked with simulations and had group debates as well. We were focusing on trying to make improvements on electric vehicles (EVs). We had to cross check many English and Chinese sources to find sampling rates for the EVs.”
In his downtime, Zheng participated in several of UD’s student-run extracurriculars including the Chinese Student Association and badminton club. Through these groups, he was able to meet fellow students and build connections.
“Badminton club is one of my hobbies, I play for fun and I get some exercise!” Zheng said. “The Chinese Student Association is a great opportunity to make friends with American and Chinese students. I really enjoyed attending the events like the spring festival for Chinese New Year.”
Having completed his bachelor’s degree in December, 2021, Zheng is now planning to apply for his masters at UD in September. Meanwhile, he has turned an internship into a full-time position with Sepax Technology, Inc. as a marketing associate.