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Yang MBA’16 gained confidence, abilities from MBA program

Yang MBA’16 gained confidence, abilities from MBA program

Xuejun Yang exudes confidence and enthusiasm when she talks about her final MBA capstone project at Otterbein.

“I love math and I love data. I worked with a pharmaceutical business to improve medical assistant turnover, using data analysis to reflect their performance and improve their processes,” she explained. “The data drove our recommendations.”  

It’s hard to imagine that Yang ever felt any less sure of herself, but coming to America from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST) in China to earn her MBA proved to be a big challenge. As a business and English major at USST, she first learned of Otterbein University through Otterbein’s exchange program with the Chinese university.  

“When I first arrived at Otterbein, my purpose was very simple: to learn the language and culture. I couldn’t have a face-to-face conversation, it was so awkward. But the actual experience went beyond my expectations. The business classes were small and I could have conversations with business professionals here. They gave me suggestions and encouraged me,” she said.

She added that by having an American roommate, her English skills improved greatly.

Yang credits having daily, meaningful interactions with students dramatically helped her English abilities, including living with an American roommate and working together in MBA study groups where her she had to adapt to Western work habits.

“It was a challenge at times,” she remembers, “but those challenges can bring out the best in you.”  

Yang found help in overcoming language challenges through the Academic Support Center. She worked with the writing center to better develop an understanding of English phrases and colloquialisms. Yang says as she received energy from the university community she wanted to give back. She began to tutor others in the writing center and served as president of the International Student Association.

Despite the challenges of learning a new culture and language, Yang said it was important that she took advantage of attending MBA networking events, where she was able to meet company executives from healthcare and financial institutions.

Yang had two internships during her MBA program, one of which she was recommended by one of her professors.

“My professor, who was from Iran, invited me to her home to share a family dinner. She later recommended me for an internship. The faculty here is diverse and embraced me from the beginning. Otterbein shows us that we are not only students but partners,” Yang said.

Yang received her MBA in the spring of 2016. The company from her MBA capstone project was so impressed with her work they have invited her to continue working for them. Yang considered her options with the help of her professors and adviser and decided to continue additional graduate studies in data analysis.  

Although Yang has friends from China who have gone to much larger state schools, she appreciates the uniqueness of Otterbein and all the support she received as an international student in a new country.

“Otterbein is really a fantastic place for international students. Everyone cares about you and the MBA program is very diverse. There are engineers, accountants, health professionals and we all learn from each other. It’s a really great starting point for anyone’s career.”  

Learn more about the Otterbein MBA program. Visit www.otterbein.edu/MBA.