Curtin Sarawak accounting and finance student Di Cai has set his eye on making tomorrow better. When he’s not studying, fellow students might see him organising events as a housing resident assistant, writing for the Curtin Sarawak International Student Blog or taking part in the John Curtin Weekend. As someone who rarely passes up an opportunity to build his leadership skills, it’s inspiring to think where Cai could end up on the international stage.
Can you tell me about your background?
I grew up in Shanghai, a big, modern city. I was a dancer and child actor while I studied at the primary school affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I received several dancing awards internationally and domestically, such as in Germany and in China itself, and I acted in many TV ads, shows and movies with actors such as Jiang Shan and Jordan Chan. I also played clarinet and received a grade four qualification from ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music), and was a reporter and writer for several magazines and books.
I studied afterwards at The Second Middle School attached to Fudan University and then the Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore. I held various positions in school, including class monitor, school ambassador and student councilor. I also gained several awards in national and international chess competitions, and received both bronze and silver national youth achievement awards in Singapore. Now I study at Curtin Sarawak.
How would you describe living in Sarawak, compared to living in China?
The environment is major difference for me. As I mentioned, I lived in Shanghai, where I could not see many natural things on a daily basis, such as birds, forests and rivers, whereas, in Sarawak, it is natural and green with a nice blue sky and hot weather. I felt comfortable and relaxed when I arrived in Sarawak, especially Miri (a city near Curtin Sarawak). As the weather is hot here, there are more outdoor activities you can take part in, such as running, swimming and other sports. These things have made me feel active and energetic, and I think they help give me a good balance between my studies and daily life.
What do you as a housing resident assistant?
As a housing resident assistant, I normally organise events and manage housing residents. The events include housing day challenges, a sponsored football game, paintball competitions, outdoor adventures and other residents’ annual gathering events. I enjoy the experience, the teamwork, building connections and gaining leadership skills.
Why do you think it’s important for students to become involved in extra-curricular activities and interact with the wider community?
I think there is always a balance that you should strike between studies and life. These activities build students as a whole. For example, the John Curtin Weekend taught us to help and care for villages and rural areas in the local community. It is our responsibility to help them build houses and provide necessities because it demonstrates a sense of caring and supportive teamwork as members of the Curtin community.
How did you become involved with Curtin Sarawak’s International Student Blog?
I was chosen to write for the blog because I very actively talk about Curtin on my personal social media pages, such as Facebook and Sina Weibo (a popular social networking service in China). Furthermore, I was actively involved in campus events and other relevant clubs. For example, I am the general officer for the Curtin Finance and Investment Club.
I usually write about parts of my studies and social life at Curtin, such as activities, events, food, the gym and sports. I write in Chinese Mandarin on the Curtin Sarawak International Student Blog, but I can write in both English and Chinese. I like to share my university stories with others and I am thankful that Curtin provides me with such an awesome experience.
What is your ambition, aspiration or dream?
I want to become an international business leader who displays care and integrity. I am extremely confident that I will get there through networking and the theoretical and practical based knowledge that I have learnt at Curtin.
I would like to get into the accounting industry and work for a company such as Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young or KPMG. I would pick this industry over anything else because accounting is the language of business. I have strong interests in the accounting industry and Curtin has provided me with an excellent experience in terms of financial insights and practical accounting skills.