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Keeping it "200": Meet banner students Jiajing Chen and Michael Doane

- November 17, 2017

Banner students Jiajing Chen and Michael Doane.
Banner students Jiajing Chen and Michael Doane.

Signs of Dalhousie’s forthcoming 200th anniversary are, literally, blowing in the wind. The Dal 200 banner series, which can be found on lamp posts across campus (and was recently featured on the MacDonald Bridge), profiles exceptional Dal students from all of the university’s Faculties. In the weeks leading up to 2018, we’ll be sharing short Q&As with some of the featured students.

Learn more: dal200.ca

Jiajing Chen

Second-year Master of Planning

Tell us a bit about yourself

To learn and feel about cultural difference, I came to Dal to further my education with the background of Landscape Architecture. In the first year, I worked part-time at The Muse Café and Pub at Dal where I have communicated with others, made many friends, and learned how to make coffee and light food. I am actively involved in volunteer opportunities, from Dalhousie School of Planning Conference, Ardmore Street painting, North by Night market, to SWITCH Halifax, and NS Heritage Conference. I really enjoy in team work and helping others. Every piece of work forms a unique life experience.

Career ambition?
Through the co-op term of Dalhousie’s Master of Planning program, my education is coming with the added benefit of strengthening my relationship with my major and the city Halifax. I enjoy the process of design, and wants to help with making cities better for all to live in, have fun, and enjoy happiness of life. The summer work term with the North End Business Association in Halifax has helped me realize how truly diverse the communities are, and understand my current career direction: to engage the public into planning process. It gives me the chance to obtain more information from the public, and in return I can serve people in a better way. That’s exactly what planners do.

What brought you to Dalhousie?
The Master of Planning Program suits my background and direction well, especially the co-op opportunity. Also, I want to learn and feel about different culture, and to live by the sea. With these reasons, Ichose Dalhousie University. I worked as Neighbourhood Planner Intern this summer, where I have learned a lot, not only about professinal skills, but also friendships and life experience. I'm confident that the school will continue to prepare me for my future. 

What’s the best class you’ve taken at Dalhousie and why?
I think it would be the Landscape Design course. In this class, we were asked to observe a place, a landscape element and a redesign site in Halifax. Now I pay more attention on even a little spot about how it attracts people, why it was designed in this way, etc. We presented our work every time, which is a good way to train our presentation skills. The professor would give us detailed and helpful suggestions and feedbacks on each assignment.

What do you think of your banner? Have you gotten any fun reactions to it?
I think that’s really cute [she says with a laugh]. I look happy and energetic. I saw someone mimic this pose. My friends messaged to me “Oh I saw you on the pole!” and “You jump really high…” My family and friends say they feel proud.

What does it mean to you for Dalhousie to celebrate its 200th anniversary?
In 2018, which is the 200th anniversary of Dal, I will graduate from the university. As an international graduate student, I feel very excited to be featured in this activity to celebrate Dal’s 200th birthday. It is at Dalhousie where I have made friends from all over the world, learned more about professional and cultural knowledge, and I got the precious intern experience. I’m proud to be part of the Dal community.

More about Jiajing: A passion for planning in a new city (Dal News, Aug 2017)

Michael Doane

Second-year Corporate Residency MBA program; Engineering grad.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I really enjoy playing intramurals at Dal as well as various organized sports outside of school. I love to travel (perfect for Dalhousie's exchange opportunities) and love to be outside. I also play guitar — not just the air guitar on the banner.

Career ambition?
My career ambitions are centred around me wanting to run my own company at some point in the future, which brought me to the CRMBA program. The corporate residency portion of the program really helps with this, as I’m currently working for an amazing start-up (Dash Hudson) and gaining invaluable experience.

What brought you to Dalhousie?
I came to Dalhousie for my undergrad mainly because they have a great engineering program. Other factors that helped with my decision include: I'm from Halifax and love the city, and most of my family went to Dalhousie. I decided to complete my master's at Dalhousie, again, due to the reputation of the program. The CRMBA program at Dalhousie was 100 per cent the right decision.

What’s the best class you’ve taken at Dalhousie and why?
The best class I took at Dalhousie was probably Engineering Design & Graphics because it was a very hands-on class. We reverse-engineered a magic bullet blender and built it on a computer. However, there are several classes that I’m looking forward to in my second year of the CRMBA program, now that I’m focusing in a particular area (entrepreneurship). Starting Lean and Innovation Management should both be very interesting courses for somebody interested in entrepreneurship like me.

What do you think of your banner? Have you gotten any fun reactions to it?
My banner turned out really well. It’s pretty funny actually, I have yet to see them in person because I’m doing an exchange semester in Copenhagen, but I must have received over 50 pictures of that banner from friends asking if it was me, sending a funny SnapChat or sending me one of Dalhousie’s pictures on Instagram. I was really surprised to see it on the Open House booklet as well.

What does it mean to you for Dalhousie to celebrate its 200th anniversary?
It’s pretty amazing that Dalhousie is celebrating its 200th anniversary, especially when you think about how different everything was 200 years ago and how many changes have occurred in that time span. To be able to withstand that test of time is truly special.

More about Michael: Driven by curiousity (Dal News, July 2017)

Learn more about Dal’s 200th anniversary at dal200.ca


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