Wang Qian graduated from St Petersburg University with a degree in Organic Chemistry in 1983. Nowadays, he is collaborating with the science and technology parks of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. Wang Qian shares his memories of why he once chose St Petersburg University and is now proud of it.
Why did you choose St Petersburg University?
There were a lot of reasons, and not only because St Petersburg University is a prestigious university. I love St Petersburg. It is a city of science and culture and there are many monuments to great people here.
In my youth I studied Russian writers. I read the novels written by Nikolai Gogol, professor at St Petersburg University. At school, I also got acquainted with the work of the famous translator of Russian and Soviet literature, Cao Jinghua, who also worked at the University. I am proud that even after graduating from the University, I remain part of the university community. When I studied and worked in Germany, I was reminded of the University when I saw monuments to graduates of St Petersburg University. In Berlin, the monuments were to Vladimir Lenin and Mikhail Glinka, and in Heidelberg to Dmitri Mendeleev.
I chose Russia and St Petersburg University and I am very pleased with that, because a lot of people believe that relations between China and Russia are of particular importance for world policy.
How useful have been the knowledge and skills acquired in your alma mater?
The most significant thing I received at the University was understanding how to find my way and how to choose my lifework. Even though this is not some specific knowledge, I think it is paramount. Not all people know what they can do after graduation. And no one will provide a student with the answer to this question: neither professors, nor parents. Personally, you have to find your own business.
What appeared to be most memorable during your studies at the University?
I can’t describe it for sure, but this is the spirit of St Petersburg University. It was in the Decembrists, it was in the residents of the besieged Leningrad, and it exists and is felt today. I think that the sculpture in front of the Twelve Collegia building reflects this spirit.
What are you doing now?
I am working for a consulting company. It is called the Greatwall Enterprise Institute (GEI) and it has existed since 1993. GEI deals with innovation research, start-ups, and science and technology parks for the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. We also cooperate with research centres from various Chinese cities, including the Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing.
Nowadays, we are helping to develop the technology that will be used at the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.
What would you wish to applicants and students of St Petersburg University?
St Petersburg University is a place of opportunity. I wish every applicant and student to find a suitable field of study at the University.