Qi Qi, a master’s of business administration (MBA) program graduate candidate at Western, is currently achieving one her dreams: studying outside of her home country (China) to pursue her advanced degree in business.
Before coming to WIU, she had worked in marketing and product management in China. Since enrolling in Western’s MBA program, she has found that she is particularly interested in supply chain management, so she has chose that area of concentration her advanced business administration studies.
For the March installment of the “International Student Success Spotlight” (sponsored by Western’s Center for International Studies), Qi Qi shared how and why she chose Western to achieve her dream of studying business abroad, as well as how the services and academic resources at WIU have helped her with her success so far as an international graduate student.
Q. How did you learn about WIU and why did you decide to apply to and attend Western?
Qi Qi: Studying business abroad was my dream, due to my working experience with various enterprises after graduating from a college in Beijing, China. However, I had to consider the most efficient and effective way to realize my dream, because I came from a working-class family. I have limited savings, and the tuition and living expenses are high in developed countries. My hope was that I could leverage my limited resources to achieve the best result for my studies, and my “dream” universities would have the best cost/effect ratio.
Then I started a comprehensive search, both online and offline. I finally narrowed it down to WIU, State University of New York, Texas A&M, Cleveland State University, and Pittsburg State University. With any effort and luck, I would be accepted by each school’s MBA program candidate.
Then, I compared the programs, environment, and the procedures at each school.
Firstly, WIU has been listed as a “Best Midwestern College” and “Top Tier Midwestern University” for many consecutive years. AACSB International [“the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business”] not only accredited WIU’s MBA program, but also ranked Western’s College of Business and Technology among the top 25 percent of business schools in the world.
I was also amazed by the many unique and creative arrangements for international students, i.e. Ambassadors Program, temporary housing, Western’s English as a Second Language (WESL) Conversation Mentors program, Conversation Partners, American Culture Night, etc. WIU has become the ideal university for me. I also think Western has the best student services. I am so glad I made the correct decision and came to WIU!
Q. What do you hope to do with your master’s degree in business administration once you graduate?
Qi Qi: I plan to work as a supply chain analyst after graduation, once I get more experience in the area. I hope to become a supply chain manager.
I am very happy to have discovered my career direction here, so I can be equipped for my future.
Q. How did you adjust to your new home as a person who had never traveled to the U.S. before?
Qi Qi: When I first arrived, I was faced with new study challenges, a new living environment, new social relationships, and a totally different culture when I just came to Macomb.
First of all, the language issue impacted my performance, because I couldn’t get used to each instructor’s speed and tempo when he or she was lecturing.
Secondly, I experienced serious homesickness, because I had never been so far away from home before.
Thirdly, everything was new to me; however, I did not feel lonely and helpless at all. The friendly and responsible professors answered my questions patiently, gave me a lot of useful advice, and helped me pick up information more quickly. In addition, the international student services staff arranged a lot of activities for me to get familiar with the community, meet a lot of new friends, improve my English, and learn about the culture. The International Neighbors program, particularly, makes me feel that I have another home at Macomb. The host family has become my second home, and I feel I am the part of the community. I can’t believe I have become accustomed to my new life so quickly!
Q. What have been (or are) your favorite courses and instructors and why?
Qi Qi: My favorite course is in small business management. The course covers how to operate a small business. In this course, there are many guest speakers sharing the experiences about their businesses. Mrs. Gates, the instructor, also provides information and cases about various interesting small businesses.
Although the assignments in this course are challenging, Mrs. [Janice] Gates is one of my favorite instructors. She is very nice and helpful. She likes students to raise questions, and she replies to their email messages quickly. Even on the weekend, she still provides feedback to students’ concerns in time.
Another professor I adore is Dr. Deboeuf. I took his two courses, “Introduction to Finance” and “Financial Management.” His classes are well organized, and he helped me understand the complicated financial concepts presented.
Q. Any additional information that you would like to include?
Qi Qi: I have to mention Macomb when talking about my feeling about WIU. It provides me a welcoming, friendly, convenient, safe, hometown, and rich atmosphere to pursue my study objectives. I love Macomb!