Confessions of a former gaokao champion

By Bai Ping ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-07-11 09:09:17

But eventually I picked a top journalism school, because nothing excited me more than writing. Growing up in a family that moved around the country, I loved to travel and see new places and meet new people. I wanted to pursue my own dream and investment returns from a college degree never crossed my mind.

Sometimes I have wondered what path my life would have taken had I studied another subject at college. But I have never regretted my choice. I have met many successful business people and bankers and I am keenly aware that I lack some key, quirky personality traits that they have.

But a career as a journalist has turned out to be a perfect fit. I enjoyed always being one of the best reporters everywhere I worked. The first time I worked as a copy-editor many years ago, my editor praised my natural talent for spotting mistakes and getting to the gist of the matter when writing a headline for a long story.

While I respect other people' choice of a college education, I've been amazed to see almost 40 percent of gaokao champions in China had gone to business school since the national college exam resumed in 1977. The growing tendency defies findings from past studies that these stars tend to be more likely to meet their presumed academic and professional potential when they major in non-business areas.

One such study that tracked thousands of these gaokao champions found that those with business majors are destined to be highly-paid company employees, but none of them have become entrepreneurs or leaders of a world-class company. In comparison, those who have chosen less popular subjects including journalism, law and medicine are happier and more likely to excel in their areas.

Researchers say many gaokao champions were set up to fail from the beginning, because they choose a college based on generous financial incentives, or select a major that promises lucrative job prospects, instead of based on their personal interests and passion, which may lead to lower satisfaction and chances for success in later life.

Perhaps Wu the champion from Jiangsu will love the business school at a prestigious university. Perhaps not. I wish him luck.

 Confessions of a former <EM>gaokao</EM> champion

Confessions of a former <EM>gaokao</EM> champion


Confessions of a former <EM>gaokao</EM> champion

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