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Why GBJ? Australian Tony Xie re-discovers his Chinese roots and deepens his journalism skills

Tony Xie: “I wanted to discover my parents’ culture and understand what Chinese holidays and practices really convey and to build a close relationships with my family and relatives.”

Tony Xie hails from Melbourne, Australia, but his family is originally from Tianjin, China, a 30-minute high speed rail ride from Beijing. As an undergraduate student, he majored in economics and finance. By applying to the Global Business Journalism Program, the 21-year-old Australian is re-discovering his family's Chinese roots and learning practical writing and reporting skills. He was interviewed by GBJ colleague Troels Jeppeson of Denmark.

Q: How did you first come upon the GBJ program?

A: For a long time I have had an interest in writing and journalism, and I have written pieces in my spare time just for fun. The reason I came upon the GBJ program was that I really want to convey economics and finance to regular people. And I thought journalism was a good choice.

Q: Why did you choose GBJ over other programs?

A: The reason I actually ended up choosing the GBJ program, was that I was checking out the professor, and I found that [GBJ co-director] Richard [Dunham] was an extremely experienced journalist, and in multiple disciplines. The fact that the professor was so well regarded had a huge impact on me choosing the GBJ program, and it shows in the course offerings.

Q: What are you hoping to gain from the GBJ program?

A: Like I mentioned earlier, I really want a tool that I can use to convey economics and finance in an easy way to regular people. In our time and age it is really important to be able to utilize whatever platforms are popular, and that is something I wanted to learn to do as well. The “multi-media” bit of one specific course is a thing I am especially interested in, being able to use different types of media, and combine those in the best possible way so that it is simple and easy for people to consume information.

Q: What has been your favorite part of the GBJ program so far?

A: The best thing about the GBJ program so far has been that when going to class, it has not felt like going to class at all. When I sit in class it feels more like being in a casual conversation with the professor, rather than a formal class. The contents of the classes are very easy to consume, because it feels like you are a part of it and it is super engaging.

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