Student Spotlight: Minyan Gao C’23

Minyan Gao C’23

What attracted you to Drew?

I am an international student from China and was attracted to the small classes, diverse learning experience, and Drew’s location close to New York City. This made it easy to get to know the financial world and experience the city.

Why did you choose to double major in Economics and Mathematics?

I chose my majors after taking a variety of courses and finding my strengths. I realized I wanted to work in both education and finance.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

There are a lot of mentors and professors at Drew who have helped me. When I first started college, Michelle Coles, Student Services Coordinator, helped me adapt quickly to college life. Also, Mathematics Professor Dr. Sarah Abramowitz and Economics Professor Dr. Miao Chi continue to help me improve in my majors.

Have you studied abroad? Done any short, long or nycTRECs?

I was part of the Semester on Wall Street this spring. I have an opportunity to meet alumni who work on Wall Street or in the financial world. We usually use our morning time to learn basic expertise, and we also have group discussions. Afternoons are usually when we hear from speakers. They describe their work and take questions from students. Their experiences have opened up new insights into the financial sector and what to be prepared for.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

I want a simple and comfortable life but today’s fast-moving society requires us to keep going forward. I will continue to look for the balance between our fast paced environment and my desire for a simple and comfortable life, so as to really enjoy the days ahead.

What are a few of your favorite memories of Drew? 

A favorite memory is my Freshman Orientation. When I first came to the United States as a college student, not as a tourist, I was nervous. The student assistants who welcomed us were very warm. Also, my freshman year, I had to go to the Health Center and the doctor there treated me kindly even though I had not processed my student ID yet.

How has your identity as an international student from China affected your journey at Drew?

Drew values international students and offers assistance in all areas. There are so many opportunities where students can learn and grow in a comfortable and positive environment. Drew also celebrates a variety of international festivals, where students can feel at home, while promoting exchanges between students and increasing knowledge about our cultures.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

Try to experience every opportunity that comes your way. These opportunities may not be connected to your major, but they can help you gain self-confidence and other abilities. Don’t take things too seriously. Try to enjoy the process. Finally, don’t be afraid of failure.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I want to work in the financial industry, mainly in the field of marketing and consulting but I also like the idea of working in education, not only as a teacher but developing curriculum, etc. I hope that in the next five years, I will be doing work I love.

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