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Meet Shiqi Xu, Ivey PhD candidate

  • Communications
  • |
  • Sep 13, 2021
Meet Shiqi Xu, Ivey PhD candidate

Ivey’s PhD Program in Business Administration is a full-time research-based program designed to develop scholars and to place graduates at high quality research universities around the world. Our PhD candidates are showcased at conferences around the world, and regularly featured in top-tier academic and industry publications.

To help you get to know them, we’ve asked them about their academic and personal interests.

Get to know: Shiqi Xu, HBA ’14, MSc ’15, PhD candidate

Shiqi Xu considers herself an Ivey veteran, having completed her HBA and the MSc-CEMS MIM before going on to the PhD program to study international business. Although Xu was raised in Canada, she was born in China and worked there early in her career, gaining insights from business executives across several countries and regions. That experience fuelled her interest in international business.

Q&A with Shiqi Xu

What attracted you to Ivey’s program?

As an HBA and MSc graduate, I was fully aware of the quality of Ivey’s faculty. The professors are leading scholars and well-experienced in real-life business. They are supportive and approachable. In the program, I benefited from the mentorship of Professor Klaus Meyer and my academic committee. My course instructors, including Associate Professor Lauren Cipriano, HBA '05; Associate Professor Brandon Schaufele; and Associate Professor Matt Thomson, also helped in my studies. Furthermore, while working abroad, I noticed that Ivey is a leading business school, not only in Canada, but also worldwide. Ivey’s reputation is well-recognized in many parts of the world, such as Europe and Asia.

What is your research focus?

My study focuses on international business strategies. More specifically, I aim to understand how firms respond or adapt to the dynamic global business environment and foreign policies.

Why is that area appealing to you? What big problems/issues need to be addressed?

Due to the advancement of information technologies, the world is more integrated than ever. This is seen in the current COVID-19 pandemic. As some have argued, international business explains the fast spread of COVID-19 across the globe. However, during the pandemic, international business also witnessed the trade and transfer of medical resources across national borders, the education across various time zones, and the increasing trend of overseas e-commerce transactions. As globalization persists worldwide, companies will face a growing number of foreign competitors. As a result, they may be forced to compete globally even if they operate only in the domestic market. Thus, some issues need to be addressed, including the global strategies of digital multinational enterprises, firm-specific advantages of born globals, and the impact of foreign policies on firm performance. 

How do you see your research making an impact?

I aim to conduct studies with a solid theoretical background, which are relevant to business executives and government officials. Hopefully, the findings will have implications for firm-level global strategies and government policies.

How do you see research as an aid to business improvement?

I think theory and practice go hand in hand; they are delicately intertwined. Theories are derived from practical experiences, and they influence best practices. At the same time, practitioners – either business executives or government officials – benefit from incorporating theories when drafting global strategies or policies.

What previous experience prepared you for this?

Early in my career, I spent three years (2015-2018) at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai, China. At CEIBS, I interviewed many business executives across several countries and regions, including China, the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Switzerland, Taiwan, and France. Since late 2018, I have been working at Invest in Canada (IIC), a federal government agency that promotes Canada as a preferred location for foreign direct investment (FDI). At IIC, I work closely with investor advisors and the FDI working group. Through my work experience, I adopted the perspectives of both business executives and government officials. I also witnessed how research impacts firm strategies and government policies. My previous experience strengthened my passion for research.

Where did you grow up and what was it like there?

I grew up in Toronto, Ont. Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with many great restaurants. When I was young, one of my favourite activities was to try out all the restaurants recommended by Tripadvisor. 

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

My parents. They are always there for me no matter how much we argue and what I go through in life.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I had a masala omelette every day for almost four months when I did my internship in India.

What is the most played song on your playlist as of now?

The Climb by Miley Cyrus.

What is your best podcast recommendation?

Philosophy Bites, hosted by Nigel Warburton and David Edmonds. It introduces the debates, thinkers, and thoughts that have shaped our world.

What book would you recommend to others? Why?

I like to read about history, such as Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies, and Modris Eksteins’ Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age. To fully understand where we are today, I think we need to have some knowledge on how past societies, systems, ideologies, governments, cultures, and technologies were built.

What tips have you learned for staying connected in an online learning environment?

I think it is helpful to constantly approach my colleagues to discuss various topics, such as course work, research progress, and other life affairs. I also invited friends to exercise outdoors with me during COVID-19.