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SU students discuss technology, business in China - Friday, December 18, 2009
A team of SU students recently went to China to discuss technology and business ideas. Company reps were so impressed, they offered all of them jobs.

Southern University students are on the cutting edge of change, thanks to a new push to partner with China. Eight engineering students traveled halfway around the world to work with energy conservation companies. The meetings could help transform both Baton Rouge and the students’ lives.

"I just want to thank you for the opportunity,” said one mechanical engineering student.

The Southern University engineering students spent two weeks in China with four different companies. Their challenge was working on ways to conserve energy in China and in the United States.

"We're the ambassadors for our university to our connections in China and you can just see so many opportunities that can come from it,” said Maisha Robins, a junior at Southern.

East Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden believes so strongly in the partnership that he’s assigned Eugene Ji as the Capital city's official ambassador to China. One of Ji’s partnerships came Thursday with the Southern University students.

"They offered you guys a job, so we're pleased to tell you about that today,” said Michael Stubblefield, vice chancellor for research and strategic initiatives, Southern University at Baton Rouge.

"Everyone of them offered them a job. They want to hire them all,” said Eugene Ji.

Ji says after their visit, all four Chinese companies were sold on the Southern students. They want them to either work for them in China or help establish Chinese business in North America, possibly even in Baton Rouge.

"I think there's a lot more coming,” said Ji. "I'm definitely pleased with the opportunity. I'm going to probably take it up as soon as I can,” said Anthony Bain.

Senior Anthony Bain could graduate as soon as this summer. Other students, like Maisha Robins, have a little more time.

"Big surprise that they'll offer us a job and I'm excited,” said Robins.

Robins plans to use her extra days to sharpen her skills.

"I have to learn more Chinese,” said Robins.

The mayor's ambassador says he also plans to implement a similar program at LSU. Their goal is to establish friendships among Chinese students and among Chinese businesses.