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Effie Du ′11

Effie Du

Hometown: Changchun, China
Major: Economics and Business
Minor: Math
Fun Fact: I create Chinese traditional paintings and play table tennis.

What has been the biggest change coming to a small liberal arts college in the South?
The biggest adjustment was probably cultural. In China I feel proper to do everything, but here I’m not always sure what people want and expect me to do.

It’s only your second year here, but you’re technically a junior?
Yes, I went to summer school, took AP calculus during my freshman year, and took 21 credits last semester so I’ll graduate a year early. I like to keep myself busy. It isn’t a big change, though, because in China I went to school every day from 7:20 am to 8:30 pm, and we had extra school on weekends.

Mock trial is incredibly competitive at Rhodes, and to make the team with English as your second language is a huge accomplishment. What do you enjoy about being on the team?
My favorite part is that it’s a team event. If I make a mistake or don’t feel confident, there is always someone to back me up. It’s also fun to discuss the competition afterwards. In my last direct examination I was supposed to say “I am as good as dead,” but I accidently said, “I’m as good as bad.” Afterwards my team was laughing and told me. I hadn’t even realized I said that.

Has being on the team helped you with other aspects of your life?
It helps me to express myself more clearly, so hopefully someday I can use some of the skills I’ve learned in business negotiation. I also think it will help me interview for jobs; an interview is a lot like a cross-examination.

What did your work last summer as a research assistant involve?
I worked in Institutional Research with Jay Eckles. We analyzed the information from the senior survey and compared students’ senior and freshman year responses. We wanted to see how their academic goals, study skills and writing ability have changed. Now I’m working in the Communications Office doing data analysis on the Rhodes website.

What role do you play with Art Memphis?
I help with the set-up. I’ve taken classes in Chinese traditional painting as a hobby for the past 13 years in China. Last year we sold the paintings to raise money for Globe Med.

What advice do you have for other international students?
A new environment is a big challenge, but it’s really important that you leave your comfort zone and face the challenge. It’s really easy to just stay with the Chinese students and speak Chinese, but you’re here to challenge yourself. Go for it!

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