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Interview with Alumni Wang Fanglin about Her Experience during COVID-19 in Hubei Province

As a result of the joint efforts of the Chinese government, Chinese people and worldwide help, the COVID-19 situation in China has gradually been improving. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, students from Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) have been actively fighting COVID-19 all over the country in their own way.

Wang Fanglin, an alumni who graduated from STL in 2018, was introduced to the government of Hubei Province through the PKU-Hubei government Career Placement Program after graduation. Later in the same year, she began to work in Zhaojun Town, Yichang, Hubei Province.

COVID-19 in 2020 undoubtedly brought tremendous challenges to the local government and Wang Fanglin’s work. In the middle of April, we contacted her to learn about them. The following is full text of the interview:

1. Hello, Fang Lin. Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello, I’m Wang Fanglin, I graduated from Peking University School of Transnational Law in 2018. I was one of the first group of students who were introduced to working in the Hubei government through the Career Placement Program that PKU established in cooperation with Hubei government. For me, the choice of working as a public servant is both accidental and inevitable. In my undergraduate, I studied in Zhou Enlai School of Government in Nankai University. One of the most important reasons I applied to the school is that I always wanted to be an outstanding diplomat. In other words, becoming a public servant has been my life goal. Although I have interned at law firms and financial institutions when I studied in STL, I have always hoped I could contribute to my country by working with the government. When I was about to graduate, Hubei Province was recruiting talents from Peking University, so I applied without hesitation.

Zhaojun Town, Yichang, Hubei Province
Wang Fanglin in a meeting

2. Where and when did you join the fight against COVID-19 work in Hubei? How is the local outbreak?

I have been working in Zhaojun Town, Yichang in Hubei province since August 2018. After the epidemic broke out in Hubei Province, they had very tight traffic control. I returned to work in early March. The whole process of returning to work was also very complicated and difficult, because it was the worst time of the epidemic. During the isolation at home, I was mainly responsible for providing support such as the transportation and allocation of medical materials. I was working through video and telephone meetings every day. At the beginning of February, when the needs for masks were most urgent, the Dalian Alumni Association of Peking University was contacted through the PKU’s Alumni Association.  They donated 20,000 masks to Zhaojun Town, which was a huge support.

3. What are your main tasks during the outbreak?

During the COVID-19 outbreak, my work consists of two parts. When I was in quarantine, I was mainly responsible for remotely scheduling and arranging work to make sure my colleagues got enough support. After returning to work, I was mainly responsible for the epidemic prevention and control work of Jinle Village and organizing their resumption of work and production.

4. We have witnessed and experienced so many touching moments during the epidemic. Is there anything that impressed you during your work?

In the early days of the outbreak, all markets and supermarkets were closed. Also, because the village is underdeveloped with limited access to resources, food became a big problem for us. Even though most of my colleagues and I were not from Hubei, many villagers spontaneously sent us their food storage.

5. This COVID-19 has brought great challenges to individuals, countries, and the whole world. What do you think is the biggest challenge in your work during the epidemic?

The biggest challenge brought by the epidemic was being able to psychologically manage the challenges of facing urgent public health and security issues. During the COVID-19, as government officials in an under-development village, we were facing heavy pressure. We were expected to do the best work with very limited resources. To deal with such incidents, skill and psychological resolve were both very important. It was also a process of constant accumulation of experience.

6. Career choice have never been easy. Why did you want to pursue your current career?

Career is never an easy thing, but career choice is simple. As long as you understand the value and direction of yourself, it is not difficult to choose a career. We are also permitted to change career path and direction and to try things boldly and work hard. As I mentioned before, for me, the most important reason for choosing the current career is hoping that I can contribute to something that is meaningful and enriching for my life experience.

Wang Fanglin in Zhaojun Town

7. How do you see your time in STL?

I really appreciate the time I spent in STL a lot. I certainly grew up a lot. First of all, the study of professional knowledge in STL is very helpful to my work. Although I am not practicing law, I encounter many problems related to the law. My professional knowledge is very helpful in dealing with these problems. Secondly, during my time in STL, I met excellent teachers and friends who also helped me a lot in many ways. They are always very supportive. Finally, STL equipped me with a good learning ability and broad vision. As such, it provided me many possibilities for a future career path.

8. As an alumni, Do you have any words for STL students?

Pursue you dreams without fear and really apply yourself to practicing it until you find your own life path. When we are very young, we don’t have to be 100% sure about the road we will take in the future. The important thing is to keep moving and really think about every step of the present. Dreams could be achieved through the combination of many small efforts.

9. What is your expectation of the future development of STL?

STL will definitely become better and better. I hope that STL will strengthen students’ abilities in a comprehensive way by equipping them with  the necessary psychological resolve while also fostering important professional knowledge and skills, which I believe will be a huge help for their future life and career path. As the only law school in the world that combines an American-style Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) with a Chinese law Juris Master degree (J.M.), STL is expected to educate more legal talents who are proficient in multiple languages, have international perspectives and other many sought-after professional qualities.