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Painting the Cross-Cultural Canvas

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pku.edu.cn | Updated: Sept 20, 2021

From Nina Baal, a German student of Peking University

Nina Baal is an undergraduate student from Germany and currently studying in the "Future Leaders" program at the Peking University Guanghua School of Management. Before joining, she completed her first two years of studies at the Mannheim University. Her two biggest passions are Weightlifting and Art which both are an essential part of her daily life. Once the pandemic allows it, she is planning to pursue Weightlifting competitively.

Embracing the Creative Side through Art and Sport

An accomplishment that I often think back to was winning the German Junior Championships in Rowing in the Women's Four. My crew and I trained very hard for a whole year. A fair share of the time it was a lot of fun but on difficult days we had push each other to work harder. In the end everything paid off and we got to stand on top of the podium.

Rowing Championships

I've always had a penchant for creative activities and especially art because for me, it evokes emotions, makes you think, feel and question everything about it. I actually discovered drawing quite late for myself but since then it has become a great stress relief for me. Usually, my drawing style is black and white line drawing, but recently I have tried myself in acrylic painting. Painting is a completely new challenge in terms of style because colors have a completely different effect on the viewer. I feel that changing from drawing to painting has improved my creative thinking and imagination.

In addition, I found out early on that creativity can also be lived out in sports. At the moment I am actively pursuing Weightlifting. Working out every day makes me sleep a lot better, lifts my mood and provides a balance to Uni and stressful days for me. I could not imagine my daily life without these two hobbies.

Improved Strategic Thinking by Leading a Student Consultancy

In 2019 I was elected as Head of Financial and Legal Affairs of INTEGRA e.V. - the student consultancy of the University of Mannheim. At INTEGRA, students from a wide range of disciplines engage in consulting projects to find the best possible solution for companies. My tasks included the annual financial and budget planning as well as the clarification of legal issues. What I liked most about this time was the intensive cooperation in the board team, as we had the unique opportunity to strategically advance INTEGRA together. In addition, I was often confronted with new issues and challenges in the legal field, on which I could immensely improve my problem-solving and analytical skills. All in all, this was a very important experience as managing an organization with about 100 active members in a team substantially improved my strategic thinking.

A Program Full of a Variety of Cultures and Colorful Personalities

When I first heard about the "Future Leaders" Program, I got very excited and decided to apply right away. I am very grateful to be part of this Program because I get the opportunity to interact and become friends with people from many different cultures. After I graduated from High School, I completed a voluntary social service in New Zealand for one year. I worked at an Elementary school and taught English and Math to young students. It was such a happy place, and I loved living and experiencing the New Zealand culture learning from my students and colleagues. That's when I decided that I would love to study abroad to experience yet another culture and why I apply to be part of the "Future Leaders" Program.

Most impressive in this program are definitely the people for me - participants and coordinators equally. It has been such a pleasure learning from people with various backgrounds, different ways of thinking and so different personalities because it has already had a huge impact on me. Especially in the course "Cross-cultural Communications", we got to share and discuss how our different cultures approach different topics. This makes the many group projects during the semester even more exciting, as each group develops a different dynamic depending on which characters are represented. I have felt welcome since the very first second and we have received the best possible support one could get. I can’t wait to finally be on campus because interacting with everybody in person will enhance our learning experiences even more!

PKU Guanghua "Future Leaders" Program

By partnering with 15 of the world's best business schools, Guanghua School of Management have created "Future Leaders" International Undergraduate Double-Degree Program that gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of their local markets while also immersing them in one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic economies in the world: China. This program will focus on admitting top students with outstanding leadership potential from Peking University and each partner institution. After completing their first two years of study at the institution in their home country, students will live and study together with classmates of diverse backgrounds from all over the world, including students from China, for two more years as a single cohort at Peking University.

Meet Our "Future Leaders" is a featured series on stories of PKU "Future Leaders" International Undergraduate Program students. It aims to introduce program students coming from Peking University and our partner schools all over the world and share their experiences and thoughts before and after studying at PKU.