International alumni reconnect

Aarhus BSS collaborates with alumni outside Denmark’s boarders to reconnect, create events and networking opportunities. In October, we went to the inspiring cities of Shanghai and Beijing, China, to meet alumni – and reconnect.

14.12.2018 | Line Axelsen

Foto: Line Axelsen

John Fu

Alumni reconnect in China

On 27 October, alumni in China were invited to an event at Hongqiao Jin Jiang Hotel in Shanghai to reunite, to hear a business presentation by our Alumni Ambassador in China, John Fu, alumnus (MSc ’07), and to network. Chinese and Danish alumni from the university were greeted by the alumni team on 27th floor and welcomed with drinks and the alumni book “The Networking Journey”.

Alumni shared stories about their memories of living in Aarhus and studying at the university. The peaceful and flourishing university park and the proximity of Aarhus’ many activities were fond memories that everyone could agree on. Another theme was the equality of people, genders and at the workplace. Chinese alumni highlighted the value of equality within the Danish society and the structure and combination of the courses at Aarhus University.

Aarhus BSS’s Alumni Ambassador, John Fu, alumnus (MSc ’07) and Managing Director at CHINA INSIGHT, inspired the audience with a presentation about building successful business in China. As an expert within the field, he navigated the Danish and Chinese alumni through cultural differences and best practices based on case studies for people to develop business success in China. Read the key points from the presentation in the box below.

Alumni Ambassador, John Fu, described why he wanted to help out with this event:

First, to stay connected with the school.

"Work takes us to different places in the world, many of the friends I studied with now live and work in different cities and countries. The alumni network makes it easy for me to stay in touch with the school. In order do that, it makes sense to help build the alumni network internationally."

Secondly: To give back.

"The school gave me a great learning experience. The professionals, a very international group of fellow students, the opportunity to interact with different cultures. I appreciate that and would like to do something in return," John Fu says.

After the closing remarks, alumni stayed to share their reflections and exchange their contact information to stay in touch. Some alumni also attended events with us at the Royal Danish Embassy in Shanghai and in Beijing.

Reconnect and pay it forward

Aarhus BSS has an outlook beyond Denmark’s borders. We want to hear from you and stay in touch to create reunions, give you networking opportunities and collaborate. But we need your help. These are the ways you can help:

  • We can only connect if you keep your info updated here and we are looking for more alumni to help us reconnect with alumni in regions outside Denmark.
  • If you know other alumni who are not a part of the alumni network, ask them to read more and sign up here.
  • If you would like to create a local event or reunion, contact Alumni Development Manager at Aarhus BSS, Line Axelsen at and hear about the opportunities.

Build better business  - John Fu's three key points

Over the last two decades, I’ve helped many Danish companies build better business in China. Among other things, here are the three key points I’d suggest Western executives reflect on, in order to build a successful business in China:

1. Compared to Denmark, China represents a unique mindset on many levels such as regulations, competitive landscape and client expectations. Listen and learn, stay open to what seems different. Spend time re-examine your strategy, products and services. Your redefined value propositions is the first step to this massive yet different market.

2. Culturally speaking, Denmark and China are far from each other. Three critical differences are the power distance (how people view authority), relationship (how people see working and private connections), and the role of individuals (how people choose to voice their own opinions or let the group decide for them). Spend time build your cultural understanding, leverage these cultural differences to your advantage.

3. Learn how to be an effective leader in China. Due to the much bigger power distance, the Chinese tend to listen a lot and speak little. If you know how to motivate and influence in the right way, your Chinese team members will surprise you with their innovative ideas and problem-solving abilities. 

John Fu

Managing Director,