Alumni Spotlight: Xiang Gu ’16

Xiang Gu came to The Ohio State University as a community leadership major for autumn semester 2012 from Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. He was the first freshman to declare this new major (formerly known as specializations of the agricultural and extension education major). After four years in Columbus, “Shaun” graduated with a bachelor of science. Shaun now works for The Ohio State University in Shanghai, China as an alumni relations and event planning specialist with the China Gateway Office.

Why did you select the community leadership major?
When I received the [admittance] offer from Ohio State, I also got a list of “recommended majors”. I wanted to pick a major with less Chinese student and this major caught my eye. After the discussion with my parents I made this bold, but right decision.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Good question for international students – most of us haven’t been to the United States of America before we started our campus life, including me. So we choose the school based on the information online and from our friends. My reasons were: 1. good academic reputation, 2. affordable tuition fee and 3. located in urban area.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
Well I think my job now is kind of self-explained. Ohio State not only offered me great academic resource, but also a global vision. So I would like to share this great experience with more Chinese students and alumni.

How were you involved in the campus outside of our academics?
I have some friends from Taiwan so I joined TWSA in my freshman year.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State? 
It’s a difficult question. I will say photography. Although I didn’t do well in that class, I did learn some skills from this class – and it’s very useful in the real life.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education?
I will say Dr. Robert Birkenholz and Dr. Jeff King. They not only helped me with my studies at Ohio State, but also offered a lot of help in my campus life. They shared their own experience, knowledge and time with me selflessly. I sincerely appreciate their help during the time I spent at Ohio State.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
The time we won the [football] National Championship in 2015. Celebrating with other friends on The Oval.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I worked in a small local company in Columbus as an E-commercial operation specialist.

For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
After the job in Columbus, I went to Africa (Angola, Kenya and South Africa) and worked for McKinsey as a project assistant. Then I went back to China to serve the buckeye community.

How are you involved in your community outside of your career?
I worked close with buckeye community in the Greater China area and involved in nearly every alumni events.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I will say the time I spent in Africa with Mckinsey.

  • Participated in China Africa Investment Opportunity Outlook Project as surveyor in Angola and South Africa
  • Interviewed 90+ Chinese entrepreneur of SOE and private sector, collected data, completed survey and wrote field report
  • Analyzed data and composed 500 pages PPT of all project-related African countries

What advice would you give to a current student?
Take a broader view. This world is big and try to explore it before the death.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
Global vision and critical thinking through the ACEL education program and staff.


OHIO with friends.


During my work in Africa with McKinsey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *