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CESL Alumni Interview: An Guohui

An Guohui graduated from CESL in 2015 with a master’s degree from China University of Political Science and Law, after which he was successively employed at the Capital Collection Department of National Housing Capital Management Center and Claim Settlement and Recovery Department of China Export&Credit Insurance Corporation. Now he is studying further for his doctor’s degree at the School of Law and Economics of China University of Political Science and Law. He will share his understanding on work and his experience of studying further for the doctor’s degree with us here.


Why did you choose to study further for the doctor’s degree, especially after a period of working?

Basically there are two reasons. Firstly, I take great interest in my current field of research. The module New Institutional Economics during my undergraduate degree introduced me to this field and my experience in market and government control in central Europe provided me with further understanding on the research methods of Law and Economics. I discussed the idea of studying further for my doctor’s degree with teachers when I graduated with my bachelor. However, because I would pursue work as a civil servant they believed there would be little possibility for further study. We even bet on it. So it’s not a complete act on impulse.

Generally speaking, we are not willing to continue to study if we have a satisfying job and rather regard studying as an approach to find an ideal job. Furthermore, the costs for studying after a period of working become higher, which acts as another major barrier against returning to school. From a utilitarianism perspective, the benefits of studying further for a doctor’s degree are much too low so it also requires a motivation of interest. My working experience helps me to understand my study, employment and myself better and provides me with reference points for any future decisions.

With respect to application process for a doctor’s degree and studying for the degree itself, is your learning experience at CESL helpful?

The application conditions for a doctor’s degree vary in different schools but I believe that graduates from CESL can definitely meet the qualifications. After a successful application, there is a reexamination comprising a written examination, a subject-specific interview and an English language interview,. Before applying for the doctor’s degree, it is imperative to carefully check if the specific research field of the supervisor is consistent with your own.

My learning experience at CESL was of great help regarding my application for the doctor’s degree because my compatibility with my supervisor stemmed from lessons at CESL and my knowledge of my subject field accumulated during my time at CESL.

What’s the daily life of a doctor like? Do you have any different feelings about working and learning?

My daily life is attending classes, reading literature and writing papers. The work is task-oriented. In other words you personally usually make efforts to accomplish your targets. In reading, you lead yourself and set goals for yourself. You make plans and supervise yourself. There is both tension and relaxation in working. Studying at school is honestly not so intense but you still can’t relax during vacations. You can only truly relax after graduation.

What employment prospects are there after graduation as a doctor? What kind of work are you going to do after graduation?

There may not be huge differences in employment prospects for doctors but there is the additional choice to take academic research as a career. I suppose that there should be some differences in employment prospects for those with a doctorate as opposed to a masters but I didn’t pay much attention to this aspect.

I didn’t seriously consider about the work issue after graduation. However, personal interest should be an important concern in future choice of work. Furthermore, whatever job you will choose will be chose in two years time so what you can do now is to simply accomplish your study. It is the period for wholehearted studying.

Have you ever been anxious? How did you face and ease the anxiety?

Of course I have been. However, we can avoid some unnecessary anxiety by not setting exorbitant goals. Paying attention to yourself and becoming aware of the diversity of life can help us to face anxiety. Anxiety may only be eliminated by taking steps that you want to take. Do not look for jobs driven by anxiety. Everyone has his own definition of happiness and success. It’s impossible to try to solve your own anxiety through striving for success as defined by others. The key lies in finding your real interest.

Do you have any suggestions for your juniors?

If you have any expectations of success at all, please plan and prepare as early as possible. Success is just around the corner. Whatever you want to do or whatever kind of life you want to lead, work hard but also enjoy your life in the present.

Author: An Guohui, Wu Dongxin (double master’s degrees postgraduates from the China-EU School at Law of 2017)

Photo: An Guohui (graduate from the China-EU School at Law of 2015)