meeting with Haocheng

Nov 5, 2021, Sunny

Meeting with Haocheng

Before we scheduled the interview, I had never imagined that we would have such an enlightening conversation upfront. But think of it in this way, it happens almost every time if you ever start a chat with Haocheng, you could always end up with a fruitful thinking process, or a delightful chat time. Haocheng is somehow the go-to person in our class, as we do enjoy talking with him for whatever reason we open up the chat box. He is always being so thoughtful to offer his right-on-time help, and that’s probably the reason for his getting voted to be the class representative. Somehow in another perspective, I figured sometimes he is in flight mode – immersed in his own world, a place with inspiration, the Castalian Spring. Perhaps it’s the way to revive, to dig deep into the field of interests, to get recharged, to touch the world in different directions – for which I would call that a circulation. Metaphor and poetic, these are the words I would use when recalling from my memory, for the marvelous lunch.

(For below, Q referred to as questions from HKU MBA marketing club, H stands for Haocheng)

Q: How would you describe yourself?

H: Engineering, nerdy and determined. Normally if I have set up for a goal or into some certain things, I would be dedicated to achieve it. I’d even analyze the text for talk shows and crosstalks. Easygoing, I can easily interact with people with no significant boundary; technical, but enjoy having fun some time. Normally at midnight or whenever I have some spare time, I would watch crosstalk, stand-up comic, SNL etc.

Q: How would you like others to describe you?

H: I would like others to describe me as reliable and caring. Sometimes I feel the mission to help out, as if I don’t do it, I would deeply regret it. I’m actually quite comfortable with myself, opening up to opinions, but not to worry too much.

Q: Please share with us a memorable story from work.

H: It’s about the first time I challenged my boss in an aggressive way. Before that, if someone asked me to do something, I would just get things done without asking why, how, even if it was beyond my workload. That somehow made me the person who was asked to do all those unwanted jobs as things evolved. One day after the whole week’s late-night overtime, I just lashed out at my boss, telling him that he was throwing me with too much workload. My boss was shocked, and we had a deep talk about it. I figured it was ok to say no; somehow, he was just relying too much on me to finish the job, where he can assign me work without worrying about the quality. After that, we had a mutual trust that we could get things done with great quality and say no was always an option. Maybe it is a great option to have a frank and open conversation, and to talk about things straight.

Q: Please share with us about someone who you worked with that you like or don’t like about.

H: Generally, I’m flexible enough to work with anyone. But I don’t like people who propose but do not deliver, as they are just proposing things but don’t act. I would expect people to validate their proposed idea, and to be practical for their suggestions (probably under the influence of engineering thinking process).

Q: Please share with us about your experience at HKU MBA.

H: Informative, educational and so-packed. I love my colleagues, classmates and professors. For the informative part, business is a new area to me as my past experience was in engineering. I’m normally interested in the new perspective. Personally, I figured engineers are underpaid in China, but I believe they can apply skills to make bigger impacts; in order to understand things on the floor and to apply theoretical things, absorbing business knowledge is fundamental to me. Business helps me to understand the theory behind certain decisions. Our classmates have diversified backgrounds; they are from different industries so that have different approaches to deal with problems.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

H: Watching crosstalk, going to gym, and reading books. An interesting thing was that, due to covid I was locked in the room, then I started to practice singing traditional Chinese opera. I enjoy reading books with various topics including history, literature, philosophy and religions even with weird ones, where my current reading was <the Cheese and the Worms>. I went to Tibet for traveling purposes; before I went into Tibet, I even read many research papers on Tibetan Buddhism. One of my favorite books is <Dream of the Red Chamber>, which brought all-time new perspectives every time I read it. The book actually segmented fatalism and existentialism. It embraced a variety of topics such as for equal rights issues, fatalism and angles from female perspectives. I’m a fan of Xue Baochai; she was a moral saint to view others from top to bottom. Lin Daiyu was more in a growing status, but in her later stage she grew to be closer to Baochi. The differences were, was she caring about others, or the actions were solely out of her own interests. Things were open to interpret. Baoyu was willful enough but he would have to afford the whole family, Baochai would be his fateful choice.

(Remark: <Dream of the Red Chamber> is 红楼梦 in Chinese, where Xue Baochai (薛宝钗), Lin Daiyu (林黛玉) and Jia Baoyu (贾宝玉) were main characters in the book.)

Q: Please describe who you want to be in the future.

H: Myself. In an ancient Chinese book named Shi Shuo Xin Yu, one of the sentence ever civilize me to be the one who I want to be, “I was tanlged with myself for too long that I’d rather be myself”.

(Remark: The quote from the book Shi Shuo Xin Yu桓公少与殷侯齐名,常有竞心。桓问殷:“卿何如我?”殷云:“我与我周旋久,宁作我!” ——《世说新语·品藻》)

Q: Imagine we are now at July 2032, Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? What are you doing after?

H: I was alone in a small village with a great view and few people. Read books, watch crosstalk, and see some exhibitions. I’m not a person who pictures the future a lot, more as a past-looking person, to learn from the past.

For a while I was still immersed in the topics we brought up, and I even pictured the scene in Chunqiu Period in ancient times when scholars voiced out their opinions with the sparkling of mindsets. People are complex, and hard to interpret; but everytime the exchange mechanism takes place, it is worth the every effort to talk out loud, as we can see the glittery outcomes for us to understand each other and the world, even for a tiny little bit.

Jialu Chen