Xin (Cara) Zhao

Xin (Cara) Zhao  GW-CEPL ICBC Global Leadership Development Program Alumnus

Senior Manager, Private Banking Department, ICBC, Beijing


Briefly describe how the GWU academic experience has challenged and enhanced your leadership competencies?

This experience has provided me with the theoretical foundation about leadership, so that I can have a fresh reflection about what I can do better, how and why. It also helps me to think more about what my team members want to do instead of what I want them to do. It encourages me to give compliments more often, to praise their work and appreciate their contributions, which is different from Asian culture but definitely efficient. The challenge comes from getting rid of your old thoughts and embracing changes.

Did your experience in Washington, D.C. better prepare you for the international market?

Yes, I will say it was an excellent experience for me. It gave me access to a diverse culture, a more open market and advanced financial system. It also let me know how people work together, what they care about, what are their concerns, how do they communicate with their teams, and what is their way to solve problems.

Did you benefit from the fellowship experience?  Did you apply these higher level competencies during the fellowship while networking within the institution and with others?

 Yes, I really enjoyed the fellowship experience because I had a closer look at the working environment in the U.S., had the opportunity to do some networking with the help of my supervisor, engaged in the project and hopefully that would be helpful and contributive.

What did you enjoy and appreciate the most about Global Leadership Development Program (GLDP)?

I will say I love the GLDP experience; it is perfect and really helpful to us. I have learnt a lot in this program, and it will be one of my experiences that I will never forget. Things that I appreciate are the sophisticated project design, the professional professors and staff, the timely support and assistance. I could tell that they treated this program and us seriously, and try to provide us the best.