A Day in the Life of a DBMD Student

By Max Chen
Home Country: Taiwan

Investment Management DBMD student, Max Chen, takes you through a day in his life and answers your questions about the program. Enjoy!

Why I decided to apply to the DBMD Program

I’ve always wanted to study in the United States. When I was ten, I spent a little time here and was immediately blown away by the lifestyle and how different I became in such an environment. I graduated from a bilingual middle school, many of my childhood friends had the opportunity to pursue education in the States, so I was able to have a glimpse of what the education and life is like through them. I believe that studying in the US will help me a long way in terms of enriching my life experience, cultivating my professional skills, and embracing challenges.

The DBMD (Dual Bachelor’s Master’s Degree) program is an agreement between universities that allows a student to pursue a master’s degree in the partner school (in this case Temple) starting from the student’s senior year. In other words, it’s an accelerated program to complete both degrees in five years with benefits such as a streamlined application process and credit transferring.

I applied for the DBMD for its various advantages and my genuine interest in Temple’s prestigious Fox School of Business. I made up my mind to pursue a master’s degree in the U.S. just a few months into my college. An accelerated path suits me well since I was determined to finish my undergraduate course in three years. I planned my course schedules accordingly, but also kept in mind that a backup plan of finishing the remaining few credits here at Temple is viable. (I’m glad that I didn’t have to activate plan B.) Furthermore, the Fox School of Business is one of the top business schools in the region. It is very selective.

How my master’s will help with my future career

I’m in the investment management program in finance. The finance industry is highly professionalized. Although I took a business administration track and minored in finance for my undergraduate degree, I hoped that I would have more time to understand and learn advanced quantitative techniques, various theories and their application. The program equips me with the basic knowledge for becoming a finance professional, and opens the door to this fascinating world. The program’s connection to the industry is strong: Professors invite industry speakers and alumni frequently to talk to the class

The exam I’m preparing for on the calendar in the vlog

I am preparing for the upcoming CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam. It is a three-level exam, and the earliest one can sit for it is at one’s preliminary year of college. It’s a globally recognized certification and arguably the most important one if one is to become a financial analyst or assume any position in the financial services and banking industry.

What I like about Temple University

I like Temple for its vibe, resources and location. The campus is an energetic community, and the students and faculty take pride in being a part of it. Attending Temple’s sports games (yes, I’m a football fan), is by far the best way to feel the Temple vibe. This school is also an inclusive environment for its diversity in the student body, faculty, and for its close interaction with the neighborhood. Besides the on-campus and academic resources, I find Temple’s greatest asset is its comprehensive programs. I enjoy exchanging insights and experiences with students studying in design, medical school, science, engineering, music, etc.

The City of Philadelphia, the fifth largest city in the United States, has everything one can ever expect from a city, yet it can be a tranquil town at times. Philadelphia is also one of the older cities in North America. I like spending time strolling in the old city and indulging in the history. The city’s location is a little more than two hours of a ride from New York City and about three hours to Washington D.C. is also something I take advantage of all the time.


My Global Citizenship Class Broadened My Thinking

By Connie Chen
Home Country: Taiwan

This class is extremely different from any other class I have taken.

How it works

From the very first day in my Global Citizenship class, our lecturers – Dr. Miller and Samantha told us to express our own opinion without any hesitation because everyone in this class has the right to speak. This class is more like a debating class. Dr. Miller starts every class with a topic, most of which are relevant to recent news and important international issues such as discrimination, the election and racism. Then everyone begins to demonstrate what they believe and states their opinions. Dr. Miller moderates to keep the discussion on topic, maintain the order of speakers, and minimize interruptions. After each class, I always feel that I have gained a lot.

What I learned about American students

Through this class, I’ve realized how different American students are from Asian students. I’m so impressed by how many ideas and opinions American students express throughout discussions, while most of the Asian students prefer to listen. American students are not afraid to tell others what they really think, persuade others to agree with them, and they pay attention and respond to all the opinions expressed. They give their opinions respectfully, but strongly. Everyone in this class including the lecturers respect everyone’s opinion so you always feel welcome to talk. Throughout the semester I heard many different people’s stories and got to know what other people think. I understand different nationalities more because of this class.

Sharing food

At the end of the class, we even had a cultural food-sharing gala. Everyone brings their home country’s food to share with classmates. As a Taiwanese, I am really proud of the fact that we invented one of the greatest drink in the world – bubble tea. So, along with three other Taiwanese students, I cooked bubble and milk tea to share with the class. We got a great reaction! There were even some people, who had bubble tea for the first time in their life, who told us that they loved it.

Making friends

Thanks to this class, I also made some valuable friends. Our friendship began when we started to meet together after the class each day. I can say that this class is the one where I got to know the most American students, with some becoming close friends.

Through this class, I learned that every opinion is important. I learned that I can get people to understand my point of view and I can understand the point of view of others and start to look at things from different viewpoints. Moreover, I gained many precious memories here.

Connie Blog.jpg

IELP American Culture at Temple (ACT) Students Volunteer for Martin Luther King Day

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every year on the third Monday of January, Americans celebrate the legacy of activist and civil rights leader Martin Luther King by volunteering in their communities.

This year on January 16, as part of their participation in the IELP’s American Culture at Temple (ACT) Program, Chinese and Korean students from South University of Science and Technology of China (SUSTC), Nankai University, Kookmin University, Kyonggui University and Daejeon Health Institute of Technology, were active participants in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

The students were put to work mopping floors, clearing out old equipment, painting walls and much more at Philadelphia’s Athletic Recreation Center. For more than 100 years the facility has housed programs for children, teens and adults in the Brewerytown-Sharswood Neighborhood.

ACT Program involvement in Martin Luther King Day is just one of the many excursions and classes that students participate in, over the three-to-four-week program duration, to learn about American history and culture.

Leading up to Martin Luther King Day, the program’s curriculum focused on King’s work and impact. “The most impressive thing about Martin Luther King is the speech, ‘I have a Dream,’” said SUSTC student Teddy Feng, “because he tried to pursue the equality of different races.”

As Dr. King and those who carry out his legacy intended, the service experience left a lasting impact on the students. “I was not interested in volunteering before” said Soi Kim from Kookmin University, “but I am enjoying this. It’s really meaningful.”


Students cleaned classrooms used for the facility’s after school program.
Student Soi Kim got a lesson on mopping.
All smiles picking up their volunteer t-shirts.
Students painted doors and woodwork to give the building a makeover.
The students left their mark!

My Trip to Longwood Gardens

By Sangmi Park
Home Country: Korea

Hello! I’m Sangmi Park, one of the DBMD (Dual Bachelor’s Master’s Degree) program students from Korea. Before the fall semester ended I had a really great experience on the Longwood Gardens trip.


A few weeks before the event, I received an email about a trip to Longwood Gardens. I was very excited because I would be able to see one of the most popular gardens in Pennsylvania. I couldn’t wait for the 14th to arrive! I went to the Liacouras Center, which was the meeting place for our 12 o’clock departure, where I was able to meet many new people from different global programs. With around 20 students, the Temple shuttle bus left for the gardens.


After about an hour, we finally arrived at Longwood Gardens. We got a ticket for admission and headed to the main conservatory. When I saw the decorated garden in the conservatory, I totally forgot how tired I was from the long trip there. The first thing that caught my eye was a big beautiful Christmas tree in the center. I could also see colorful flowers, different kinds of plants, and little fountains. I took many pictures with new friends and walked along the paths to see the garden.


Besides Temple students, I could see a lot of families, elderly couples and nuns enjoying their time with the beautiful scenery. On one side of the conservatory, there was an organ performance. I have never heard someone play the organ, so it was a new and unusual experience. We enjoyed listening to carols and I hummed along when the performer played familiar Christmas songs.


We left the conservatory and went to the Peirce-du Pont House. In the house, we could see a collection of historic photos, artifacts, and videos related to the story of developing and preserving the gardens, as well as some more flowers and plants. I could feel how much affection and effort that the generations of Peirces and Mr. du Pont put into the whole garden. Also, the pictures of the gardens in the past reminded me of European gardens that I visited a few years ago.


We had about two hours to look around the gardens before coming back to campus, so I headed to the gift shop where I saw various types of gifts. There were hand creams and soy candles with different scents, and they were also selling seeds of different plants. We had such a great time.

Even though the day was cold, the conservatory gave us a memorable experience by keeping us warm inside. The flowers and plants made me feel happy, but I believe the Christmas trees gave me even more pleasure. I wished I could have stayed to see the light display around the gardens. It would have made the trip even better. I hope I can see the lights some day in the future. I will remember this Longwood Gardens trip because it gave me not only a pleasant experience, but also some great new friends.


Volunteering at Table Tennis Women’s World Cup 2016

By Xuemei Zhang
Home Country: China

Hi friends! Today, I am going to share my experience about volunteering at the Table Tennis Women’s World Cup 2016. It was the first time that it was hosted in North America at Temple University in Philadelphia!

This event just ended two weeks ago. There were nineteen players in this game, including Lily Zhang (USA), Wu Yue (USA), Tie Yana (HKG), Shen Yanfei (ESP), Feng Tianwei (SIN), Ito Mima (JPN) and Hirano Mima (JPN).


The Chinese Students & Scholars Association at Temple (CSSAT)’s president gave me a mission to try and get in contact with ITTF, which is the host organization of the World Cup in the US (I am a member of CSSAT). CSSAT wanted to show support and assist in the game. I sent emails to ITTF and our school box office. A couple of days later, I received emails and phone calls from both of them. They were all interested in our association and they really needed some Chinese students to help them. Our main responsibilities were transportation, live scoring and translation.


I helped players take Uber between the arena and their hotel. It was very disorganized on the first day since we only had two accounts to use. Additionally, many players wanted to go to the arena early so that they had more time to practice. Players and coaches had to wait 15 to 20 minutes for their ride.

My fellow volunteers, Amber and Ting Fan kept calling the Uber drivers with me because some drivers could not find the hotel. Sometimes, we were so anxious that drivers were following Google maps and just driving around in circles. If we could draw the straight line on the app, then drivers could be directed to the arena. By the second day, we learned from our past experiences, so it was a lot better.

It was a little boring when I had to wait in the hotel, but I was able to work a lot on my English speaking skills and became familiar with the city because of this experience. Scheduling Uber also allowed me to get close to the players while they were waiting.


The more I talked with the players, coaches and referees, the more I liked them. All the players came from different countries and most of them could speak Chinese. When they found out we were all Chinese, they told us a lot of stories about their lives. I really admire them.

Some players like Lily Zhang are college students, just like me. Some players are mothers and have jobs. They use their free time to practice. As soon as players put down their baggage at the hotel they went to the arena to practice even, though they were tired because of jet lag.

Everyone was really friendly and fun. When I told them the drivers would come to pick them up in more than 20 minutes, they never complained; when they discovered a good breakfast place to eat, they told us where it was and urged us to take a break. When they left, we became friends on Wechat (a social app). They also gave us small gifts!


In the match, the players are competitors; however, they are very close friends in daily life. I never thought that I could become friends with the players. It was amazing that I had an opportunity to help out with the games. I wish next time that the Men’s World Cup will be hosted at Temple and I can meet my idols Ma Long and Zhang Jike.


My First Mid-Autumn Festival Away from Home

By Xuemei Zhang
Home Country: China

Hi, I’m Xuemei Zhang, an international student from China. I like drinking coffee so all of my American friends call me Kathy, because coffee and Kathy sound similar.


Yesterday, on the way home from a night class, I looked up and saw the moon hidden behind the clouds. The campus looked empty. I felt cold, hungry, and homesick. But when I arrived back at my apartment, my roommates invited me to eat with them. And I realized that I have friends here and should never feel alone.

It reminded me of the full moon last month on September 15. It was a really special day for me. It was the first time I celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival on campus with more than 500 Temple students and professors.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. Temple’s Confucius Institute hosted a celebration for Chinese students who could not go back home to celebrate with their families, and for all Temple students. I was one of the volunteers.


Before we started, we were worried about people not being interested. We were actually really nervous, but thankfully we didn’t have to be. When I set up the tables and put the decorations in front of Bell Tower, many American students already approached and asked what we were doing and helped me set up. I was so surprised that they were so interested in our Chinese Festival.

When I introduced the Mid-Autumn Festival to students, I invited them to try Mooncake. Mooncake is round and sweet and it represents reunion and family. Eating mooncake is a tradition. I was amused when one of the students who ate the first mooncake asked for another one. When he began to eat a third, he suddenly stopped – it seemed like he found it too sweet and he didn’t want anymore. But he turned around to ask me if I had water. He ate the whole package of mooncakes.

Other than food, we also provided games including Shuttlecock. The Shuttlecock is made with a feather, and we use our feet to kick it and pass it on to the next person. It had been a long time since I played in middle school back in China. I wasn’t confident about playing, but I wanted to try. The American students didn’t know how to kick it, so I convinced myself that even though I wasn’t good at it, I still could teach them. After we tried a couple of rounds, more students joined our group.


The Confucius Institute also invited three Chinese zither players to perform. I liked that other students were so curious about the zither. I asked the performers to teach me how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.


I can’t believe that I celebrated the Mid-Autumn festival with Temple students. I was so busy playing games, eating and enjoying that when my parents asked me how I felt not being in China with them, I quickly answered “It’s alright, Mom. I made some new friends today and had a lot of fun. I don’t feel lonely. Don’t worry.”


My Journey to the RNC – Pt. 2

By Anh Nguyen
Home Country: Vietnam


Hello again, I’m glad to present the second journal of my educational experience at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, Ohio. As mentioned in the last entry, the most serious contender of the Republican nomination for the presidency is Mr. Donald Trump, a real estate mogul and billionaire with no previous government experience or elected position. As anticipated, Mr. Trump claimed his nomination on Thursday night, 07/22 in front of a packed arena full of journalists, state officials, delegates, supporters and millions viewers at home.

It’s not all work, but also having a good time with friends. From the left: Hyun Bo Sim, U.S. State Department staff, Matt Miller, Shekinah Hollingsworth and Rachel Tucker.

My job with the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Press Center (FPC) allowed me to work closely with foreign journalists and high profiled guest speakers. I participated in daily briefing by the RNC and Trump campaign staff as these experienced campaigners discussed their complicated strategy and operations. As the week progressed with more controversial events, people everywhere tuned in to hear the latest updates and public announcements made by the Trump campaign. It was truly eye-opening for me to see how a presidential campaign handles the press.

Beside checking in guests and managing the press room every day, I also took photos of briefings and edited them for FPC’s website and social media. I took one class at Temple’s School of Media and Communication called “Design for Journalists” but I was not confident at all about my skills. The U.S. State Department staff had helped me a lot by on-the-job training as I exercised taking photos on the spot and retouched photos on photoshop applications.

It was also a great opportunity to make friends with people from outside of Temple University and from other states.

From the left: Matt Miller from Princeton, Shekinah Hollingsworth from Salisbury and Rachel Tucker from Emory & Henry

These talented students come from all sort of schools and possess impressive language skills. Matt speaks French, Shekinah speaks Japanese and Rachel speaks Spanish and German.

Despite our different backgrounds and political beliefs, we came together and worked toward our goal to become better informed citizens of society. We argued and debated pressing topics at the convention but respected each other’s opinion and feeling. I appreciated their patience and wealth of knowledge when it comes to social justice and political science. We did not agree on everything, and although I think there are better ways to compromise, I am glad we had the chance to meet and discuss in an open classroom like this.

Rachel and I attend a protest at Public Square, Cleveland

What I love most about convention week is free events for the public hosted by news outlet/interest groups. I went to a POLITICO’s event called “Nightly Lounge at PoliticoHub” and got to meet state delegates, famous journalists, even saw the latest 3D printing technology brought by Microsoft and enjoyed free food and drinks from a free open bar.

I was accidentally made famous when relaxing with scented air at the Oxygen Bar!


I got to meet some cool people as well, like Jordan Klepper from the Daily Show and Dr. Ben Carson, former candidate for the Republican nomination at the airport.

All fun things and cool people aside, I was content that neither violent protest broke out nor a peaceful one went out of control. The intense heat among opposite protest groups was present nearby the convention site. Chants and screams could be heard as far as four blocks away with thousands of people on the streets of downtown Cleveland at any given time. The police were either biking, on foot or riding on horses. They tried not to put out all their forces because it could further stir up the crowd. At one point, police used tear gas to subdue the imminent violence from the pro and anti-Trump protesters, but no one got seriously injured.

Outside Quicken Loans Arena where the Convention takes place

Speaking of Trump’s supporters, I always wondered who they are and what they’re like. Out of curiosity, I accepted to work one night shift at Westin Hotel – Trump campaign’s headquarter the first night when Melania Trump delivered the disputed speech that resembles Michelle Obama’s speech back in 2008’s Democratic National Convention (DNC). It was definitely a different feeling to be surrounded by Trump campaign’s staff and supporters as we watched the speech live on TV. These people have been working nonstop for months to put up this whole campaign and convention together, gone against the current and fought the battle valiantly for the person they believe in. Of course, they were as happy as ever to see their candidate seize the nomination and watch his wife graciously praise his personality. Melania Trump is an immigrant and just like any immigrant in this country, she has a unique story of how she made it to where she is today. For the entire speech, Trump’s staff and I were cheering for her, only to find out right after that that some ideas were borrowed from another speech.

Working journalists on the spot

I talked to a few people and understood a little bit more about their frustration with the status quo, the nation’s sluggish economy and the corrupt political establishment–this is why they want a drastic change. Trump is the answer to their prayers with his records as a successful businessman and tough negotiator. Some expressed their concerns with Trump’s bad temperament and rash judgment but they were willing to overlook all of those if Trump can get the job done, hence the “Make America Great Again” motto from the Trump campaign.


As an outsider, I recognize a good campaign does not always correlate with a good presidency. I hope Trump will not disappoint his base and be ready for the most challenging position on the planet.