As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2022, Aoyi Shu, a management and marketing double major from Hubei, China, has not had the typical student experience at UD due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shu, and her entire class, have shown incredible resilience, maturity and spirit while adjusting to the many unexpected changes that they have encountered as students. Each installment of this series will profile an outstanding member of this class, showcasing their achievements, experiences at UD and what it means to be a Blue Hen.
Shu was nominated for this series by UD Assistant Professor of Marketing Dee Muir, who said, “Aoyi is the trifecta of intelligence, humility and determination, and she is every professors’ dream come true because she wants to become a marketing professor and has been admitted to graduate school to start her on that journey!”
“I am so proud of Aoyi. She may be the quietest genius I have ever taught, but that she is, and I just know how much her team in my digital marketing class admired her too. She worked so hard in that class, from learning how to build a website to help her family’s business to using what she learned when she became a TikTok influencer in her home country of China and applying it to social media marketing, all in the name of her team. It is never about Aoyi, rather, she always wants to know what she can do to help everyone else whether it be the entire team, her peers and classmates, or even her family and friends!”
In this profile, Shu shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How have you grown from your freshman year at UD to now?
Shu: As an international student, at first, I went through a very tough year. I was very unfamiliar with everything around me such as the language, roommates and diet. It seemed like I had no friends at the beginning because I did not know how to socialize and express myself. Thanks to my Resident Assistant, they noticed my bad mood and suggested that I make friends with Chinese people first and then foreigners. I started to force myself to join the Cafe Hour every Friday and take the initiative to say hello to the classmates. Things seemed to get better after I bravely took the first step. Now, I have made a lot of good friends and I am no longer afraid to be myself in unfamiliar situations. I am becoming more and more confident.
Lerner: Were you involved in any extracurricular activities? If so, how did they shape your experience at UD?
Shu: My friends and I formed a weight loss team. Every morning at 6 a.m., we would go running on the grass next to the dormitory and supervise each other to eat reduced-fat meals in the cafeteria. The team managed to lose more than five pounds in a month.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Shu: A “Lifelong Lerner” does not necessarily have to restrict oneself to formal learning like reading books or taking classes. I think it should be described as voluntarily seeking knowledge with the purpose of achieving personal value. Different people have different lifelong learning purposes. Some people want to reduce stress, some want to increase confidence or productivity. No matter what, Lifelong Lerners want to achieve their own fulfillment.
Lerner: What was the most memorable course that you took at Lerner?
Shu: The most memorable course for me was theater. I took two theater courses at UD, which were very interesting. Because of these courses, I not only went to the theater to see four plays but also had the opportunity to perform on stage.
Lerner: What was your favorite UD experience?
Shu: My favorite UD experience was to lie on the grass outside the library and feel the wind on my face. The smell of grass in the air made me feel very reassured.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Shu: I have already been accepted by Cornell University. After graduation in UD, I will attend a one-year management program in Cornell, making myself more prepared for my future career plan.