Global Student Spotlight: Jie Lu


Global Student Spotlight: Jie Lu

​​A Medal-Winning Table Tennis Champ, Just Like Her Father
Jie Lu Headshot

ie Lu is a second-year student majoring in Commerce. But she is also a stellar table tennis player who just represented UVA in National Championships.

You recently represented UVA at a national table tennis championship, can you tell us a little more about that?

Lu: It was a three-day tournament in Round Rock, Texas in early April. On Friday, we played preliminary matches and I won and got first in my group. Saturday was a free day. Then Sunday, the Top 32 women play each other. I got a pass because of getting first in my group and played directly in the top 16. There, I played and lost my matches, 2-3. It was a really cool experience though.

Jie Lu Playing at Table Tennis Competition
Jie Lu at Table Tennis Competition

How did you get interested in table tennis?

Lu: My dad was a professional table tennis player in China. He started playing when he was six and at age twelve became officially committed and went pro. He practiced every day: half the day table tennis, half school. When we moved here to Northern Virginia, he started a table tennis club. In 2010, when I was eight, I started training with him. I trained a lot in elementary and middle school, then less in high school, but I was still entering and winning tournaments and competitions. In 2016, I won the Junior Olympics for table tennis. 

My dad was a professional table tennis player in China. In 2010, when I was eight, I started training with him. In 2016, I won the Junior Olympics for table tennis.

You lead the UVA table tennis club, what is that like?

Lu: I got the position last semester, at the beginning of my second year. Now I’m managing seven executives and around 100 paying members. We got 300 signups at the activities fair, so there is a lot of interest at UVA.

We practice four times a week. We have an Instagram account that I promote whenever I go to championships.

I’m also available if people want to order equipment or have questions. I used to be a coach at my dad’s club, so I have experience with that and can give recommendations on technique, etc.

UVA has three table tennis teams that went to state and all three got first in their division. UVA is the strongest team in Virginia and we tend to win within the state.

What other interests are you pursuing at UVA?

Lu: I’m a commerce major at the McIntire School of Commerce. I’m trying to learn more about business. I used to run the front desk at my dad’s club, so I have that background. I want to learn more about business, so that I can go beyond that.

What are your next steps after this year?

Lu: I’m trying to become a finance and statistics major and get my MBA after college. Next year, I hope to go to China as part of a university group. Table tennis is the national sport in China, so getting the chance to go and play would be really cool.

In China, it’s a very serious sport, so, a lot of parents take their children to train every day after school or even to turn pro, so it is a very different and very competitive environment. After UVA, I plan to keep playing but it will be a hobby as I start to pursue other interests. Fortunately, I think it’s a skill that will stay with me for the rest of my life.