Muschamp Rd

Influential Chinese-Canadians

October 23rd, 2006
China

The cover story in this weekend’s Vancouver Sun was a list of the 100 most influential Chinese living in the lower mainland. Besides making the front page, a profile of every member of the list is included both in print and online (part 1 and part 2).

The article didn’t rank these people 1 through 100, nor did they require the individual actually be a citizen of Canada or China, just that they had lived in the greater Vancouver region for a significant length of time. When I first saw it I couldn’t help but wonder if any of my many Chinese classmates will ever make such a list.

The author’s note that the so-called Chinese community is “actually not one homogeneous group, but many sub-groups divided along linguistic, political and cultural lines“. This is one of the top ten things I learned while doing my Sauder MBA.

I’ll have to scrutinize the list more carefully to see if any fellow Tsinghua alumni made the list.

Update: I eventually ended up working for one of the people on this list, Shirley Chan at Building Opportunities with Business in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.


  • Hi… Musk

    your blog link was sent to me via the Bamboo network. I’m not a Tsing Hua alumni, but I was fortunate to have been an exchange student whilst I whittled my time away happily at UBC. So, does that make me a Tsing Hua Alumni lite? Cheers.

    Great Blog.

    David

  • Hi… Musk

    your blog link was sent to me via the Bamboo network. I’m not a Tsing Hua alumni, but I was fortunate to have been an exchange student whilst I whittled my time away happily at UBC. So, does that make me a Tsing Hua Alumni lite? Cheers.

    Great Blog.

    David

  • Possibly, but probably not. Exchange students at the Sauder School of Business do not currently become alumni, but they do at the Andersen School of Business at UCLA for instance. When I went as the first MBA exchange student to Tsinghua I did not expect to become an alumni but while there a decision was made to make International MBA exchange students alumni starting with my group.

    It is possible alumni status could retroactively be bestowed upon other exchange students possibly in other faculties, I don’t know. MBA programs are unlike other majors even PhD programs in the same faculty.

    As an SEM Alumni, I get a weekly newsletter and invited to a lot of networking events in Beijing. Tsinghua has a long way to go in making their school more accessible to non-Chinese students, the official alumni website for instance is only in Chinese, but it may be translated someday. Of late the newsletter has become bilingual.

    I took a quick look at your website and because you are not the first person to find this posting via the search engines, I poked around some myself and found this lengthier and more critical take at GungHaggisFatChoy, of course he is an SFU alumni. ;-)

    I haven’t benefited much from being an alumni of UBC, Sauder, or Tsinghua. Things didn’t work out for me…

  • Possibly, but probably not. Exchange students at the Sauder School of Business do not currently become alumni, but they do at the Andersen School of Business at UCLA for instance. When I went as the first MBA exchange student to Tsinghua I did not expect to become an alumni but while there a decision was made to make International MBA exchange students alumni starting with my group.

    It is possible alumni status could retroactively be bestowed upon other exchange students possibly in other faculties, I don’t know. MBA programs are unlike other majors even PhD programs in the same faculty.

    As an SEM Alumni, I get a weekly newsletter and invited to a lot of networking events in Beijing. Tsinghua has a long way to go in making their school more accessible to non-Chinese students, the official alumni website for instance is only in Chinese, but it may be translated someday. Of late the newsletter has become bilingual.

    I took a quick look at your website and because you are not the first person to find this posting via the search engines, I poked around some myself and found this lengthier and more critical take at GungHaggisFatChoy, of course he is an SFU alumni. ;-)

    I haven’t benefited much from being an alumni of UBC, Sauder, or Tsinghua. Things didn’t work out for me…

  • Very true about lack of benefiting from UBC or Tsinghua … none of these places has ever helped me out in my career. In fact, being an alumni from UBC has often been a hindrance in my profession for the crappy reputation of the school of Architecture.

    Yesterday I was at the Asia Pacific summit listening to the banter of the “Asia Pacific century”. After the presentations, I told the politicians and presenters that they’re full of it. As Canadians, we’ve been blabbing this line for the past decade +…and even with our favoured history with the Chinese a la Dr Bethune, we’re still picking our noses and watching with envy, our American neighbours making great strides into those Chinese markets. Then when they mentioned the US had numbers and lots of cash… I retorted, then how about New Zealand? Australia? Germany and Switzerland?

    The reason is that we Canadians are slow to move. Gutless if you will.

    I look at the recent examples of Nortel (who blew their chance to gain a giant slice of the telecom market by being absorbed by a Chinese company)… and many other opportuniities given on a platter by the Chinese only to have it blown … I know of many first hand examples of this happening.

    As for my firm, we’re designing China’s first environmetally smart high-rise tower without any assistance from our governments, and am about to land the redesign for an old University.

    Anyways, I’m off on a tangent as usual. As for Todd’s 100 CC comments … he really has to be careful of what he writes. It comes across our sour grapes according to the feedback we’ve been receiving. But we’ve already informed him of this many times in the past.

    David

  • Very true about lack of benefiting from UBC or Tsinghua … none of these places has ever helped me out in my career. In fact, being an alumni from UBC has often been a hindrance in my profession for the crappy reputation of the school of Architecture.

    Yesterday I was at the Asia Pacific summit listening to the banter of the “Asia Pacific century”. After the presentations, I told the politicians and presenters that they’re full of it. As Canadians, we’ve been blabbing this line for the past decade +…and even with our favoured history with the Chinese a la Dr Bethune, we’re still picking our noses and watching with envy, our American neighbours making great strides into those Chinese markets. Then when they mentioned the US had numbers and lots of cash… I retorted, then how about New Zealand? Australia? Germany and Switzerland?

    The reason is that we Canadians are slow to move. Gutless if you will.

    I look at the recent examples of Nortel (who blew their chance to gain a giant slice of the telecom market by being absorbed by a Chinese company)… and many other opportuniities given on a platter by the Chinese only to have it blown … I know of many first hand examples of this happening.

    As for my firm, we’re designing China’s first environmetally smart high-rise tower without any assistance from our governments, and am about to land the redesign for an old University.

    Anyways, I’m off on a tangent as usual. As for Todd’s 100 CC comments … he really has to be careful of what he writes. It comes across our sour grapes according to the feedback we’ve been receiving. But we’ve already informed him of this many times in the past.

    David

  • Everyone has to be careful what they say, especially online. Even if you think you’ve worded things exactly how you want, clearly, carefully, people won’t necessarily read it the way you intended. You can’t predict what people will do.

    Good luck with you future projects. I’m still trying to recover from my MBA. Someday some people may have a change of heart or at least some regrets but I fear it will be too little, too late.

    I never even thought to criticize who was or wasn’t chosen, not my place to do so. I thought they made some political choices though, but at least they were somewhat forthright and I think the idea was sound and the effort is to be commended. I never heard of many of those people and now I have.

  • Although I shouldn’t be surprised considering I was promoting the Chinese-ness of Vancouver while I was in China studying at Tsinghua, but there is a blog called Chinese in Vancouver and they of course mention the Vancouver Sun article.

  • Although I shouldn’t be surprised considering I was promoting the Chinese-ness of Vancouver while I was in China studying at Tsinghua, but there is a blog called Chinese in Vancouver and they of course mention the Vancouver Sun article.

  • Thanks. I’ve been following Susanna’s blog.

    The Sun also published my letter on their follow up article this past weekend, where I suggested the nominations of four (Jan Walls, Ed Wickberg, Graham Johnson and Colleen McGuinness) as inductees into the so-called influential 100 Chinese Cdns.

    The other interesting thing is that I’ve been receiving all sorts of phone calls and emails for my name being on this list… mostly of the brown nosing type. You never hear from folks for years… and then out of the blue, you get contacted… . Uh… what the ?

    I’m actually quite interested in what could have possibly happened to you with your unhappy reaction to the Sauder School. There’s one thing I’ve learned in life at my old age … and that time does heal, and you will be surprised that despite how you may feel now, the place will become an “asset” one day… you just never know when. Shzt, I can spend a day telling you all the “how one point connects to another, when you never expected it … it all falls in place”. My whole career had been a struggle, and then one day, things started slowly moving in place, and to this day, it still is.

    Good luck Muskie… I’ll be cheering you on here… hang in there.

  • Thanks. I’ve been following Susanna’s blog.

    The Sun also published my letter on their follow up article this past weekend, where I suggested the nominations of four (Jan Walls, Ed Wickberg, Graham Johnson and Colleen McGuinness) as inductees into the so-called influential 100 Chinese Cdns.

    The other interesting thing is that I’ve been receiving all sorts of phone calls and emails for my name being on this list… mostly of the brown nosing type. You never hear from folks for years… and then out of the blue, you get contacted… . Uh… what the ?

    I’m actually quite interested in what could have possibly happened to you with your unhappy reaction to the Sauder School. There’s one thing I’ve learned in life at my old age … and that time does heal, and you will be surprised that despite how you may feel now, the place will become an “asset” one day… you just never know when. Shzt, I can spend a day telling you all the “how one point connects to another, when you never expected it … it all falls in place”. My whole career had been a struggle, and then one day, things started slowly moving in place, and to this day, it still is.

    Good luck Muskie… I’ll be cheering you on here… hang in there.

  • I don’t understand what happened while I was a student at Sauder and I probably never will. I’m not alone in not comprehending. I suspect what happened upset a lot of people, which is why I kept it a secret for many, many months.

    Call it a disagreement among ‘friends’. A misunderstanding that went way beyond what it should have. It haunts me day and night. Some people want things to be better, others don’t. I just try to keep going and though I often think things will never improve I still hope they do.

    As for you being in the top 100 Chinese Canadians in BC list, congratulations. I never put two and two together until you offered to become “linked in”. I’ve never been a brown noser. The opposite generally, I’ve had to make my own way in life more than most, my dad died young and though I don’t think I had a bad childhood or anything, it was perhaps less carefree than most.

    Things are never easy for me, but I try…

    PS I’ll turn you BBCode into HTML and don’t be surprised if one of my classmates from Tsinghua (Emlyn) contacts you about Green Architecture.

  • I don’t understand what happened while I was a student at Sauder and I probably never will. I’m not alone in not comprehending. I suspect what happened upset a lot of people, which is why I kept it a secret for many, many months.

    Call it a disagreement among ‘friends’. A misunderstanding that went way beyond what it should have. It haunts me day and night. Some people want things to be better, others don’t. I just try to keep going and though I often think things will never improve I still hope they do.

    As for you being in the top 100 Chinese Canadians in BC list, congratulations. I never put two and two together until you offered to become “linked in”. I’ve never been a brown noser. The opposite generally, I’ve had to make my own way in life more than most, my dad died young and though I don’t think I had a bad childhood or anything, it was perhaps less carefree than most.

    Things are never easy for me, but I try…

    PS I’ll turn you BBCode into HTML and don’t be surprised if one of my classmates from Tsinghua (Emlyn) contacts you about Green Architecture.

  • Thanks for your candid thoughts. I too, can’t stand shoe shiners… that’s why my friends and those that know me describe me as a “trouble maker”. I can’t handle narcissisitic types… too many of them in this world…and unfortunately, many of them get into positions of leadership – either through the bent political system we have or through kissing ass up the corporate ladder.

    I forgot to mention that the four folks I mentioned earlier, are not ethnic Chinese, but non-Asian Canadians … okay, white folks, who are everything many Chinese pretend to be – humble, intelligent and dignified ( these days, it is next to impossible to find a Chinese person with these noble qualities).

    Yes… Green architecture. I’ve been advocating this for many decades… long before it became trendy.

    I hope that any disagreements you may have incurred during your sojourn at UBC will have the proverbial silver lining. Heck, it helped inspire you to get this blog… and you never know how interesting or where the path of life will take you.

  • Thanks for your candid thoughts. I too, can’t stand shoe shiners… that’s why my friends and those that know me describe me as a “trouble maker”. I can’t handle narcissisitic types… too many of them in this world…and unfortunately, many of them get into positions of leadership – either through the bent political system we have or through kissing ass up the corporate ladder.

    I forgot to mention that the four folks I mentioned earlier, are not ethnic Chinese, but non-Asian Canadians … okay, white folks, who are everything many Chinese pretend to be – humble, intelligent and dignified ( these days, it is next to impossible to find a Chinese person with these noble qualities).

    Yes… Green architecture. I’ve been advocating this for many decades… long before it became trendy.

    I hope that any disagreements you may have incurred during your sojourn at UBC will have the proverbial silver lining. Heck, it helped inspire you to get this blog… and you never know how interesting or where the path of life will take you.

  • Pingback: Muskblog » Blog Archive » Today’s Globe and Mail()

  • Everyone has to be careful what they say, especially online. Even if you think you've worded things exactly how you want, clearly, carefully, people won't necessarily read it the way you intended. You can't predict what people will do.

    Good luck with you future projects. I'm still trying to recover from my MBA. Someday some people may have a change of heart or at least some regrets but I fear it will be too little, too late.

    I never even thought to criticize who was or wasn't chosen, not my place to do so. I thought they made some political choices though, but at least they were somewhat forthright and I think the idea was sound and the effort is to be commended. I never heard of many of those people and now I have.

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