Study abroad helpful for aspiring Chinese entrepreneur

Lin newLinzhen “Lin” Ruan
Age: 23
Home: Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
Major: Marketing with a minor in management
Hobbies: Cooking and watching movies and talk shows
Favorite Chinese proverb: “You must keep yourself moving forward, otherwise you’ll leave behind the others.”


When international student Linzhen Ruan talks about the world of business and her goal of becoming an entrepreneur, her voice raises and her sentences quicken.

“If I want success easier, I would probably go back to my dad in traditional industries,” said Ruan, who studies marketing with a minor in management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “But I like digital marketing.”

Ruan’s father owns a company in Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, that manufactures things like windows, doors and solar panels and her mother retired after owning a coffee shop.

But Ruan, 23, is prefers a different path.

She is interested in how the Internet connects people and things, like a phone controlling a “smart home.”

“Maybe you want to turn on your light by using your phone or close your window when you are not home or you forgot to shut down the TV,” she said.

If Ruan were to start a business, she’d choose something revolving around Internet services or digital marketing.

“My abilities right now can’t afford me to do that, but I would like to learn,” she said. “I would like to find an internship or a job in those kinds of things.”

Ruan transferred to UNL from Xi’an International Studies University in August of 2011.

“I really wanted to study abroad in the U.S. because the education in the U.S. is the best,” Ruan said, “and everybody in the world knows that.”

A family member suggested Lincoln, Nebraska.

“People here are really nice and there’s no accent in this state,” Ruan said with a laugh.

Working in business in the U.S. is simpler than in China, she noted. In China, governors play big roles in businesses,and owners must have many partnerships and connections to be successful, she said.

Despite that, after graduating in August, Ruan expects to return to China, at least for a while.

Ruan took English classes growing up but had to enter the Intensive English Program at UNL.  But she said her experiences as an international student, like international leadership trips, gets the most credit for improving her English.

“My experiences studying abroad here will help me a lot in doing business in the future,” Ruan said. “I’m not sure what kind of business yet. But I can speak English and I can talk to people.”

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