Claire (Siyan) Li
“Supercars, robots, The David Letterman Show – I have lived boys’ dreams as a girl.”
Hometown: Been living in Singapore for 10 years. Born in Changsha City, Hunan Province in China
Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was little, I learned English through watching Gossip Girl, over-and-over again. The show is very educational, apparently.
Undergraduate School and Major: Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). Major: Electrical & Electronics Engineering
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deloitte, Manager
The MBA program is renowned for its “Team Fuqua” culture, which is predicated on six paired principles: Authentic Engagement, Supportive Ambition, Collective Diversity, Impactful Stewardship, Loyal Community, and Uncompromising Integrity. Which of these resonates most with you – and what does that principle demand of you as a Fuqua MBA? Supportive Ambition. MBA students are naturally ambitious and intelligent. But as Jeff Bezos famously said: “Cleverness is a gift. Kindness is a choice.” I believe leaders who make the biggest impact are kind and supportive of others. As a Fuqua MBA, this means that we are not just renowned for Team Fuqua spirit. We live the Team Fuqua spirit. We support each other’s ambitions.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?I was drawn to Fuqua’s Consulting focus and Professor Dan Ariely. I want to develop my expertise in Behavior Economics because understanding humans is the prerequisite of understanding everything else.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Collaborative, supportive and diverse – because it’s Team Fuqua! On one hand, everyone seems to have a different trait. On the other hand, various traits complement each other really well to form a unified team.
What club or activity excites you most at this school? For now it’s the Wine Club! I’m a people person and I love getting to know others at a deeper level. In this remote world, it’s important than ever that we connect.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I pioneered the market entry of the McLaren motorsport training program to Asia.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My career has been full of thrills: fundraising, market entry, and launching new programs. The more thrills I’ve experienced, the more I want to know how to do them even better.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? HBS, CBS, Tuck, Haas, Anderson
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? If you could pitch me about yourself in one minute, what would you say?
What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? I’m a huge planner. I have been constantly experimenting with myself to find the daily routine that allows me to work, study, exercise and find my passion. I even wrote a series of articles on Medium about “Wake Up at 5 Am? Nope. This Is My Daily Routine After 30/60/90 days” to document the process. I was thrilled that the series was a hit on Medium.com, viewed by more than 200,000 people.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? After we launched the McLaren training program in Asia, I had the burning questions of how we could promote it more effectively and generate more revenue. I knew that there was so much I needed to learn and that was my defining moment. Motorsport/F1 is an interesting industry and I can offer a unique perspective for class discussions.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? Zappos. If you ask me what my hobbies are: Eat, Pray, Laugh! Laughter may not solve our problems but it allows us to move back from them a little. My life purpose is to be happy and bring happiness to others. Zappos is all about delivering happiness. I love the unique way they look at business. It also allows business to move back from the cold, hard metrics a little and connect with customers from the heart.
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