Xiaochen Zhu’s parents were nervous when she told them she wanted to come to America to pursue an MBA. Her life was in Beijing. So were her family, friends and a good job in an accounting firm. But they understood their daughter had bigger plans and, so, decided to do what good parents do – allow her to follow her dreams.
Armed with an undergraduate degree in accounting and a drive for success, Xiaochen disembarked from a plane at JFK and began building a new life. She found an apartment share in Queens with a Chinese roommate and began English language classes. Her goal was to pass the GED and move on to grad school.
She did pass. That’s when her professor told her about Monroe College. At her interview she was immediately struck by the special attention Monroe afforded its international community. Students from over 60 countries were attending class, sharing dorms, socializing and receiving academic support from dedicated advisors. That’s how she met Singee Lam, Monroe’s Director of Asian Student Admissions.
Ms. Lam showed Xiaochen how Monroe prides itself on being an extended family for all students, particularly those far from home. In addition to academic and language assistance, international students attend regular campus get-togethers, enjoy field trips around NYC and partake in a variety of clubs. She guided Xiaochen through her application and told her about Monroe’s new satellite campus in Flushing, Queens.
Today, Xiaochen attends class both in Queens and New Rochelle and is halfway done with an MBA in Finance. She sees her parents every night thanks to Facetime, but has also found a new, extended family of friends from around the globe. Upon graduation she’d like to open a consulting business to help other Asian students transition into American college life. With China’s rise on the world stage, it’s a growth market. She hopes her success is living proof that it can be done.
Today her parents are no longer sad…just proud.