My Summer of 2020 with Demola | Tongyang’s Demola Experience

5 Oct 2020
by Hyeyeon Kim

Every holiday, we all have this one question in our minds: how can we make it meaningful? Yet, it is always challenging to force ourselves to be fruitful. Especially with the ongoing coronavirus outbreaks, many of our acitivies are limited, making it extra difficult to make the most out of our holidays. However, Tongyang, who participated in our 2020 Demola China Summer Program this summer, managed to make it one of the most memorable summers of his life.


Please briefly introduce yourself!

Hello! My name is Tongyang Xu and I also go by Jonathan. I’m from Shandong and I’m currently a senior at Fudan University, majoring in Pharmaceutical Science. I am very proud of my major, especially the scientific experiments and the beautiful world of pharmaceuticals. However, my interests go beyond just pharmaceuticals. I am a person full of passion for exploring new aspects and areas of life. So yes, I would like to describe myself as both energetic and quiet, depending on the occasions.

How was being a part of 2020 Demola China Summer Program? How was your Demola experience in general?

Cool and fantastic! It was a journey about broadening my horizons and going further on the way of being more international. I did not expect to be missing Demola so much after 8 weeks of being engaged in its project. It was a pity that I could not meet my teammates and most of the Demola friends in person during the program, yet it has also offered me the chance to get to know more people from all around the world. This is the first time for me to do the tasks through various online working platforms, online discussions and remote co-working and so on. It felt a bit strange in the beginning, but now that I look back, it was a nice experience. Moreover, I think this method of working will be mainstream in the long run, and I am happy to have a taste of it beforehand.

What have you gained the most during your eight weeks with Demola?

The biggest gain I’ve had during my Demola experience is the skills of problem-solving. Indeed, our team had to surmount certain difficulties that we faced during the project. For example, when it comes to the communication part, misunderstandings would show up every now and then as our team consists of people with different thoughts. However, I learned that problems must be controllable and keynotes should be directed by the members of the team. The most important thing is that we should be managing the problems, instead of letting them control us. Moreover, this experience tells me a brand-new concept of problem-solving: teamwork can be so powerful and effective. It brings the team cohesion and trust, giving us the faith to continue until the end of the program. To be honest, I was not a big fan of teamwork prior to my Demola experience, yet I am afterwards. Whether or not teamwork turns out well solely depends on how we do it and what mood we are in at the time. In the future, I believe that I will be much more confident in succeeding through teamwork.

Your team, “Call the Handyman,” was one of the teams of 2020 Demola China Summer Program that displayed outstanding teamwork. What does “co-creation” mean to you and how do you think it has affected the final result of your team? Any tips for strengthening the teamwork?

I’ve had four lovely, enthusiastic and awesome teammates. They are definitely a big gift from Demola for me, as we have done a relatively good job together and learnt a lot from each other. For me, “co-creation” means the inspiration raised by the team-talk every now and then. We all know that communication makes human beings’ lives easier and better, and once “co-creation” takes place, problems can be solved faster. I feel like that is how we could figure out the whole program in time and hand in nice results.

I do have a tip for a good teamwork. Although the team’s objective should be the priority, ideas are delivered by the individuals. So just be fully emerged in every discussion, activity and chance, and it will help improve your work. Do not mind whether it is done individually or as a whole party. After all, we want the best results in the end.

 

How do you think your Demola experience will help you in the future?

Firstly, I have to say I got to know quite a lot of interesting people from this journey and the interaction with them made me refreshed. Secondly, I am more open to teamwork and new cultures and ideas. During my Demola experience, I have learnt so much about Europe and about the existing differences in many aspects. I believe this journey has opened my eyes and has granted me fresh ways of perceiving things. Finally, I have become a stronger and better man since I had a chance to guide the team as a team leader (I may not be a good one but at least I’ve tried my best, for sure 🙃).

Any message you would like to deliver to students who consider applying for Demola projects?

Don’t hesitate when chances are right in front of you! Plus, seize every opportunity to make yourself feel like a part of Demola! We, Call the Handyman team, are happy that we had participated in so many events organized by Demola like Wednesday Breakfast and Friday Happy Hour Events together. And I would like to recommend those activities to all of you!

Make friend with your facilitators! They are a group of lovely people! And I would like to take this chance to thank Nancy for her excellent work:) Enjoy your Demola experience and have some fun!

More Demola Stories