CHINA - It was the first time in 24 years that Lu Buxuan was speaking at his alma mater, Peking University, and the scene was emotional.
His career choice of selling pork for a living after graduation in 1989 - at a time when college education was accessible only to a few in the society - has brought him to public attention for the past decade.
In April, Lu was invited to return to the university. This time as a speaker, providing advice to his juniors.
"I am very excited to stand here," Lu says. "I understand that only the elites of our society can stand here and give a speech to the students."
"I, on the other hand," he choked, and his face turned red, "brought shame to my alma mater."
Lu graduated from Peking University in 1989, majoring in Chinese language and literature, and was assigned to a factory job in his hometown in Shaanxi province.
"It was definitely not the job I liked. But most students were assigned jobs at that time."
Lu says his tough and stubborn personality made his career in the State-owned factory increasingly harder.
"I didn't talk much," says 47-year-old Lu. "And because I was too quiet and did not cultivate good relationships with people around me, I was ostracized."
Lu quit his low-paying factory job in 1999 and was planning to start a small business of his own. Setting up a stall in a food market was one of the easiest options.