The Bai Xian community has continued to stand strong together while adjusting to the “new normal” in unique and creative ways. Read on for more inspiring stories from members of the BX family!

The BXAI Team

It’s been a few months since we have found ourselves in this “new normal,” but one thing that hasn’t changed is our need to stay connected with one another. Through the healing power of music, the BX team is sending love and positive vibes from our office to you, wherever you may find yourself today. We hope you enjoy our cover of “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson on YouTube or Tencent.

Chan Wai

“In times of crisis, we can choose to sit by and complain, winge, and stress (easy to do), or we can look for opportunities and try new things,” says BX friend Chan Wai, a freelance graphic recorder who found himself out of work for two months due to cancelled events. Instead of allowing himself to wallow in self-pity or despair, Wai decided to pull himself up by his bootstraps, scouring the net for free webinars (he discovered there were a plethora of them thanks to the current situation) to practice digital scribing. He then sent the graphic recordings he produced to webinar organizers free of charge as a way to explore potential new opportunities. In addition to receiving many messages of thanks, Wai was pleasantly surprised and incredibly thankful when one organizer commissioned him to cover a large-scale nine-day event featuring 18 speakers. During these unusual times, Wai believes it’s important to “power on, always be grateful, and never complain. All we need is a little bit of faith and creativity!”

Zaw Tu Hkawng

“Leadership is about communicating one’s values and beliefs clearly. It is also about preparation before disaster strikes, and in this case, managing to prevent racial discrimination and panic among the citizens,” says Zaw Tu Hkawng, Bai Xian Alumnus and Next Generation Leader from the McCain Institute, referring to Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti and his response to the ongoing pandemic. Currently working at the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs in Los Angeles, Zaw has learned valuable lessons in leadership, collaboration, and inclusion by observing Mayor Garcetti tackle COVID-19-related issues such as discrimination against Asian Americans. For Zaw, the key to surviving (and thriving!) during the pandemic is the ability to adapt – whether on a citywide level such as promoting census participation via phone, or on a personal like following a regular daily routine that nurtures his physical and mental well-being. “With creativity, mindfulness, and responsibility, I believe all of us can adapt to the ‘new normal’ and take advantage of this period as a unique time for learning and personal development.”

Takayuki Morikawa

“Even though what’s happening now is not what I envisioned, I still believe we can find opportunities that we can take advantage of during this time,” says Bai Xian Scholar Takayuki Morikawa as he reflects on the challenges he has faced over the past few months. Currently an MBA student at Tsinghua University, Takayuki admits the pandemic ushered in a strong sense of self-doubt, especially since his internship in China fell through and the job market continues to suffer. “I initially questioned my decision to quit my job and pursue an MBA, but I came to realize that this is a good time to train my resilience, review my career goals, and really consider where I want to be after graduation,” he says. “Instead of focusing solely on finding work in China, I am now exploring other areas such as consulting and management training.” To fellow scholars and alumni who are also worried about job prospects, Takayuki encourages them to participate in webinars and be proactive about finding job interviews online. And last but not least, “don’t forget to connect with others within the Bai Xian community,” he adds. “You never know where those connections will lead you!”

May we continue to stay connected to one another so that we can support and encourage each other. We look forward to seeing many of you at our soon-to-be-launched Virtual Community Events!