Xiao came to the University of Alberta as BCom transfer student from China. Now she works as a Financial & Data Analyst in the Masters Programs Office and is a part-time FastTrack MBA student too!
Ashton Paulitsch (AP): How long have you worked for the University of Alberta?
Xiao Cheng (XC): In the fourth year of my BCom program at the University of Alberta, I had a summer job in the Research Services Office and then stayed on part-time afterwards. I eventually got a full time contract with the Research Services Office then applied to the Alberta School of Business’ Masters Programs Office in September 2013.
AP: What made you apply for a role in the Masters Programs Office?
XC: I majored in accounting and minored in management information systems in my undergraduate degree, so the role really fit with my background and I knew it would give me the challenge I was looking for.
AP: What’s the best part about your job?
XC: I like communicating with different types of people all day – students, vendors, other accounting professionals within the University.
AP: What’s your experience been like as a part-time FastTrack MBA student?
XC: The MBA is totally different from undergrad! You don’t want to just speed through this degree – you want to enrich yourself. I’ve had the opportunity to make new friends and learn a lot from my classmates, professors and industry professionals.
AP: How would you describe the culture of the Maters Programs Office?
XC: It feels like family. We have fun and care about each other. We celebrate each other’s important moments. I really feel like I belong here.
AP: What advice do you have for prospective MBA students?
XC: Proactively participate in student events. As a former international student, I used to be very shy but I attended a lot of events to get more socialized. Just try your best as a student and come talk to Masters Programs Office staff if you have any problems because we are here to help.
AP: What surprised you about Canadian culture when you moved here from China?
XC: I was surprised when people always held doors open for others. I wasn’t used to this!
AP: Last question…what do you eat for breakfast?
XC: A cup of coffee. Sometimes I might add in a cookie or a boiled egg.
Interview conducted by Ashton Paulitsch