Dr. Ying Zhang: Associate Dean and an Assistant Professor at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

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Dr. Ying Zhang is an Associate Dean and an Assistant Professor at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, The Netherlands. As a researcher, educator, and manager in the education sector, she has made substantial impact on creating and facilitating collaboration amongst academia, industries, governments, and higher education institutions. In 2015, Ying was named as one of “Best 40 Under 40” Business School Professors worldwide by Poets & Quants, and awarded as an Honorary Professor at Beijing Jiaotong University and Star Professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, China. In early 2016, she was selected as an Elite Professional Woman by National Association of Professional Women. Ying Zhang has been on sabbatical in Boston during 2015/16, at the invitation of Harvard University and Cornell University.

Ying Zhang was commented by peers and stakeholders as a unique talent with a sharp analytical view, combining a global mindset and systematic theoretical approach.  She is considered as an expert and opinion leader in Europe on the topics of China’s transition and development at multi-level relationships. Her opinions have been cited widely by the media in the USA, China, and Europe, including Bloomberg, China Daily, China Policy Review, EuroBiz, EFMDFocus, and SAGE Publishing. She promotes the relevance of academic research and also argues for a reverse contribution from practice into the academic. She is invited to speak and comment at international industry forums, fund investment meetings, cross-continent economic dialogues, and orgnizational-level consulting forums. She is also dedicated to study the business school development across cultures, and has contributed enormously to ACE (Alliance of 20 Chinese and European Business schools) as a founding member, the Global Research Institute of Logistic and Supply Chain (Chinese government think tank in the logistic sector) and the Shanghai Free-trade Zone Case Development Center as a co-founder.

What do you do best?

I don’t know yet. I am trying my best to learn every day from people around me and try to grow myself to be a better person. Cannot really tell what I can do best at this moment. Life is a learning journey. You never know what you do best over time. It will just be one path, becoming better and better.  

What makes you the best?

I believe environment and culture are super important. My family culture and the culture brought by the people surround makes me become stronger and better. I believe each person, as a human being, has his/her own merit and soul deserving my respect.

What are your aspirations?

I wish my continuous effort and belief in education sector can firstly make me grow stronger and better, and then can add positive value to my students and my peers, and finally can make the future society a bit better.

Biggest success?

In my eyes, being successful is a process, and never to be a result, never comes with comparison, either with self or with others.  Success, especially in terms of achievement (such as achieving social-economic status and a certain level of income per capita) shouldn’t be labelled as an index to judge a person’s success. We cannot educate and spread this inequality-oriented materialized achievement to our students and children. As life-long success can never be compared between each other, so there won’t be an answer to a big, bigger, or biggest success. Being continuously self-esteemed and authentic, being socially responsible for what you do to yourself, others, your community, and environment is already a success.  

Most challenging moment?

I cannot recall any moment much more challenging than the moment of my daughter’s birth as well as me learning to become a good mother. Always being challenged in the process of my daughter’s growing process. It was an exciting learning process but also very challenging. “What is a good mother, and how to be a good mother in my daughter’s day-to-day growth” is really a challenging project to me. But I also know it is the most rewarding of responsibilities.

Favorite Motto?

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value” - Albert Einstein.

Favorite people?

My family

Favorite places?

Zeeland, the Netherlands; Black forest, Germany; Shanghai, China; Boston, USA.

Favorite products?

If allowing me to define products in terms of research projects and the institutes I set up, these would bee my favorites, especially the projects with of a cross-disciplinary nature, where I work with and learn from a group of great people worldwide from various sectors, such as psychologists, yoga masters, engineers, medical doctors, politicians, historians, economists, and entrepreneurs.

Current passions?

I am currently very passionate about neuroscience, brain development, and universe exploration. Science indeed has no boundary. The more I learned from other fields, the more I confer that no matter where we can reach, internally or externally, no matter from social or nature sciences perspectives, all our scientific research share the same goal: to figure out the mechanism that controls our seemingly random but in-fact fixed world [with a dynamic transition between?] at the same time infinite and infinitesimal.