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GBJ program inspires Danish exchange student to pursue journalism career

Updated: Nov 17, 2019

Global Business Journalism's Tony Xie of Australia interviewed classmate Troels Jeppesen about his reasons for studying in China and choosing Global Business Journalism at Tsinghua. Here are highlights of their conversation:

Troels Jeppesen praises "the small class size and the collaborative nature of our classes, where there is always heaps of student engagement."

Tony: Why did you choose to exchange at Tsinghua?

Troels: There were a few factors at play: as a Chinese studies major, I thought it made sense to come to Beijing and immerse myself in the culture. It’s one thing to learn about a country through textbooks, but a whole another experience living here... And also, I was very excited by the opportunity to come to Tsinghua, as I know this university’s strong reputation in Chinese society.

Lastly, I came to Beijing for personal reasons. Back home in Copenhagen, I happened to have met a few Tsinghua students who were on exchange. I quickly became close friends with them, so I was excited to come to Beijing and catch up with them again.

Tony: Why did you choose the GBJ program?

Troels: I’ve also been interested in journalism. I interned as a student journalist back in high school, covering on-campus news such as the latest sporting results or large musical events. However, given that I majored in Chinese Studies in university, I never had the opportunity to take any journalism classes. When I came to Tsinghua, I knew I had to embrace this opportunity.

Tony: I don't want to get nitpicky, but why specifically did you choose Multimedia Reporting? There were heaps of other classes available from the School of Journalism and Communication.

Troels: To be honest, in my first class, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to take the subject, but I was captivated by Professor Dunham's experiences in the industry and thought that this class will really help me how to learn how journalism works in the real world. I also liked the small class size and the collaborative nature of our classes, where there is always heaps of student engagement.

Tony: What is one thing you really want to learn from GBJ classes?

Troels: Like I said before, I admire Professor Dunham’s empirical experiences, so I really want to learn from this class what journalism is like in the real world. I hope through this class I get better understanding of how news organizations work, and more importantly, what it takes to become a journalist in the 21st century.

I want to understand the tools that journalists use, and the tactics or strategies they employ to solicit sources and publish ground-breaking news.

Tony: Do you see yourself working in the field of journalism in the future?

Troels: I do! Like I said, I took the class to gain experiences which will allow me to pursue journalism as a future career.

Tony: What about your degree? Do you plan to do anything more related with Chinese studies?

Troels: Yes. Ideally, my future job combines my passions and academic background. My two main passions would be journalism, especially the writing aspect, and video games. My ideal job is really specific: I want to cover video games in China as my speciality. The video game industry is booming at the moment – just recently, they had a Dota2 competition where tickets were sold out in less than a minute. This is a field which really interests me, so it is my ideal career pathway.

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