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Advice from alumni: Luigi Hu

Luigi Hu, from Italy, graduated from EF Academy New York in 2015 and his favorite memory from EF Academy was participating in the Global Student Leader Summit in China. He is currently studying International Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) at Erasmus University in the Netherlands.  In the long-term, Luigi would like to become an Entrepreneur and start his own company. Read more below of our featured alumnus:

How did you hear about EF Academy and why did you choose to attend?

My sister went on an EF Language Course at the Tarrytown campus. She had a great experience and loved it. When she came home, she told me to go and I thought, “Why not?” It was not a hasty decision; we actually took one year to decide.

What university did you go to afterwards? What did you study and why?

I am currently studying International Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) at Eramus University. In the beginning, I was set on studying in the U.S. and I even applied to six universities in the country. I was accepted into Indiana University, University of California Santa Cruz and Rutgers University. Then, I heard about this International Business program at RSM which I found interesting because I knew I wanted to study either Economics or Business. The international dimension attracted me because I don’t feel like I belong to one country and I know I want to do business on an international level. Applying to RSM was not entirely straight-forward because it was a slightly different process compared to the U.S. I completed an online application with a motivation letter and personal statement on RSM’s websites and then sent in the transcripts. It was a fair amount of paper work and I received a conditional offer based on my IB grades. I was told that my international experience at EF Academy was highly valued in the application process.

In the end, the acceptance to RSM was actually the one that came in first. I decided to go with RSM because I feel at home in Europe and I like the course. Also, the fact that European universities are much cheaper than American universities was also appealing to me.  I am very happy with my choice. There are 560 people in my class and they’re from everywhere in the world. It is very competitive but it is also very inspiring and challenging, which pushes me to do better.

What will you do next?

My parents are entrepreneurs and I think that I also want to start my own company at some point.  I am always looking for new ideas and RSM is a good environment for this because there are a lot of entrepreneurs in the area, thus, it is very easy to get inspired. Since my parents are working in the fashion industry, I could see myself going into that field because I could leverage their contacts and experience.

Tips for current students that want to study what you study?

Make sure to study hard; especially mathematics. I took quite a lot of mathematics courses at EF Academy and it really helped me. Universities value mathematics in applications and I felt more prepared once I started by classes at university, I even got full points on my first math exam.

Take economics at a higher level if you think you will study either business or economics because it will give you a better foundation at university.

Do you keep in touch with your EF Academy classmates?

To be honest, not too much right now because most of them are studying in the U.S. and there is a big time difference. Before summer, we planned to travel in China but we ended up not going. However, if I would go to the U.S. or China, where most of my friends are, I feel that I could contact them whenever.

What’s your favorite memory from EF Academy?

I went to the EF Global Student Leader Summit in China during spring break and liked it very much. The summit gathers students from all over the world and the theme of the summit was: Sustainability. We were divided into groups and then given the task of coming up with sustainable solutions to improve the environment, education and healthcare. We had to work together with a lot of other students that we did not know and a lot of random ideas came up. It was a really fun experience and I learned a lot because we all had such different backgrounds. Many of the American students were at the top of their classes, the Chinese students were more local and then it was us internationals from EF Academy. I was kind of the guy in the middle with my Chinese and Italian background, so I ended up interpreting and connecting with both sides. It was also a good way to get to know my classmates better and it was a great teambuilding experience.

What do you miss the most about EF Academy?

The proximity to New York City was amazing. The campus life was also a great experience; I could just open the door to my room and find my friends everywhere. At university, everyone is much more focused. Of course, we do go out during the weekend but people keep more to themselves. At EF Academy, we were a big family and I really miss that part.

What is one thing that you learned from EF Academy that you found valuable for university? For work life? For your personal life?

From an academic perspective, the IB program definitely helped me prepare for university. Professionally, I gained the ability to think critically, for example, I ask why things are like that and question everything. My English professor especially encouraged critical reading. Lastly, I became much more outgoing and open-minded as I socialized with new classmates. On my first day of EF Academy, I remembered that I was lost but I quickly adapted.

What final tips would you give to current students?

Travel – try to move around. One of my regrets was that I did not travel too much in the U.S. when I had the opportunity.

Just get out of the room. Sitting in your room playing video games is a waste of time. Your parents are paying to give you an experience, so don’t waste it.  Make sure to join clubs and societies.

Who is the most successful alumni that you know of?

Hayara Cattaneo  – She was not that focused on grades and did a lot of things outside of school but she still managed to have really good grades.

Any advice for fellow alumni at universities and starting their careers?

Cultivate your interests and find your passion. There are so many people who don’t know what their interests are, so only by knowing will be an advantage.

Short questions:

Name: Luigi Hu

Age: 20

Nationality: Italian

How many languages do you speak? Italian, Chinese, French, English

EF Academy campus: New York

Graduation years: 2015

Program: IB

Residence or host family: Residence

Favorite subject: Economics – I liked it from the first day because it was closely related to business and it is very interesting.

Favorite teacher: Honestly, I liked everyoneIf I have to pick someone, that would be Mr. Barnes, my economics teacher, because I really enjoyed the subject.

Favorite club/society:  Mountain Bike Club – I really liked it and it prepared me for the Dutch life style of bicycling everywhere.

Which is the next country you want to visit? Australia

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