Illinois MBA Program Exceeds
I feel like I'm in a dream," says Chia-Huei Lin, a second-year student
in the Illinois MBA program focusing on finance and marketing.
Lin, a 25-year-old native of Taiwan, had planned
on getting her master's degree since studying as an undergraduate at the
National Taiwan University, even before she took two years to gain real-world
experience in the banking industry.
"I learned how to communicate and deal with people, and those from
different backgrounds," she says of her work as a personal banker
at Bank Sinopac in Taiwan. After that time, however, she decided to move
on to the rest of her dream - graduate school.
Choosing to attend a university in the US because of its many global companies,
she narrowed her choices to the universities of Washington, Pittsburg,
and Illinois. She believes that she made the right choice.
"I'm glad I made this decision," she says, adding that her time
here has "exceeded expectations." Lin says she chose Illinois
mainly for three reasons, the first being its strong finance curriculum
and good faculty reputations.
"Professors here are encouraging and patient with students when (they
are) asking questions or giving opinions. That is very different from
She also found the student organization opportunities at the Illinois
MBA appealing. She was particularly interested when the MBA website cited
opportunities to join Illinois Business Consulting, a student consulting
group. She is currently working on project teams consulting for Allstate
Lin was also excited to learn about the nine student clubs specific to
the MBA program. She explains that the clubs and events give students
more professional and social opportunities outside of the classroom. She
has more than taken advantage of such opportunities, as a member of Academic
Council her first year and as the vice president of the MBA Association
The final deciding factor for Lin was the University's strong ties to
international students and cultures. She said there is a larger population
of international and Taiwanese students here than at the other schools
she looked at, with about 16 coming from Taiwan out of a class of more
than 90 students.
"I'm really lucky to be in this program because of the international
student numbers," she says. "We understand each other's difficulties
and support each other. We have a good sense of community."
When she leaves the University, Lin hopes to spend more time in the US
to internalize its culture and business. She would like to focus on corporate
finance in a company where she will be able to travel.
"I think it's important to have a global view of the world in your
personal and professional life," she notes, adding that having a
US education will help her compete for jobs. She is particularly excited
about the opportunities her University of Illinois education will open
for her when returning to Taiwan and is looking forward to the strong
alumni connections she will find there. Even Taiwan's current vice president
is an Illinois graduate, she said. Such connections could be important
to her future.
"I know these people will become my lifetime friends and we will
support and help each other."