Yi (Pat) Zheng

Yi (Pat) Zheng  GW-CEPL ICBC Global Leadership Development Program Alumnus

Deputy Director, Test Division of Data Center, ICBC, Beijing


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

I’d like to mention two points about how the GWU experience has improved my leadership skills:

  1. The academic experience has tremendously widened my perspective of leadership, not only by what I learned in class but also by the exceptional faculties and classmates who have inspired, encouraged, and helped me.
  2. Leadership is more than management.  I used to do a lot of regular managing.  After six-months of university life, I realized the most significant ability of leadership is leading myself through challenges.  I found that I already accomplished my first leadership lesson by navigating through challenges such as language, academics, and day-to-day life.  GWU provided the optimal environment and platform for me to perform.

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

DC is an international city. It helped me prepare for the global market a lot.

  1. Physical preparation.  High-paced living and working puts high pressure on people and could trigger problems.  After observing and practicing, I've learned to take care of my physical well-being.
  2. Mental preparation.  In D.C., everyone has the chance to influence other parts of the world whether on Capitol Hill, at the IMF, World Bank, or any international organization, think tank or lobbying firm, where people think globally, act globally, and are willing to learn more and do more.
  3. Networking.   I'm not quite a sociable person, but in the D.C. atmosphere, I had the opportunity to meet diverse, interesting people and became friends with them.  There's no place like here for networking.

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?

I worked for GWU’s Risk Management Office for ten weeks.  I gained a lot of insurance knowledge and was able to see a different side of GWU and met many people.  It was an interesting and unique experience.

How will you now add value to ICBC?

I will reflect on what I've learned and experienced at GWU, from my previous job, and polish and implement my leadership skills.

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

Washington, D.C. is a wonderful city.   It could be busy when I walked on K Street between 9 and 5. It could be quiet when I navigated myself into the museums along the National Mall.  It could be international when I attended the spring IMF and World Bank summit.  It could be colorful when I wandered around Georgetown and Adams Morgan.  Just like diversity made America, it also shaped every aspect of this city.  It is tough to define this city in few words, but one thing I'm quite sure of is that I'll miss this town and the people very much.

The last nine months have been a unique life experience.  I like the colorful and challenging experiences here.  I appreciate everything GLDP prepared for us and the exceptional job of the excellent faculty and staff members of CEPL.