Xiao Mei may have earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Students in May, but she is back on campus at Purdue University North Central, to pursue her second bachelor’s degree. This time she’s seeking a degree in Business so that she may someday become a certified public accountant.
Mei, a graduate of Valparaiso high School, has carefully considered her career options. “I want to have more ‘ammunition’ for the real world,” she explains about her return to PNC. “I want to prepare myself to have the qualifications to pursue a career in more than one area.”
Thus far, Mei has lived an exciting life that’s taken her across the globe. She was born in China. She arrived in the U.S. with her family on Dec. 31, 2001. “My family relocated because we wanted a better life,” she said.
They initially settled in Oakland, Calif. “I was very fortunate to arrive in California because there are a lot of Chinese people living there. I met many people who helped me a lot to get used to my new life in a new place,” she continued. “Because of these people, I don’t feel there were many obstacles. I just tried my best to learn all the new things in school and in life.”
Eventually, her family made its way to Northwest Indiana. She enrolled at PNC following the recommendation of one of her father’s friends, a PNC alumnus.
Once at PNC, she quickly became involved with campus activities. She was selected as a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Group, she studied in Peru through the PNC travel/study program and was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma scholastic honor society for freshman.
In 2009, she was presented the PNC Student Services Honoring Diversity Award and earned the Leadership Award in 2010.
She was a founding member of the Multicultural Club, what she considers to be one of the highlights of her time at PNC.
“My favorite PNC experience is getting to know all the different people there,” she said. “I learned and had fun with them.”
As Multicultural Club president she helped lead a fundraising effort that resulted in the group making a donation to the American Red Cross LaPorte County Chapter to help support the ongoing relief effort for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
In the meantime she maintained a grade-point average that earned her continued recognition on the semester honors lists
Mei maintains a positive, upbeat outlook and is not daunted the challenges she encounters.
“I don’t see things as obstacles,” she states. “I see them as the way of life. Maybe it is weird to say that.”
In the end, she thanks the faculty and staff at PNC who’ve had a hand in her success and mentions Anne Frankus, a teacher of hers at Valparaiso High School.
“I am not sure if she still remembers me, but I remember her and I truly appreciate her help when I was just transferred to Valparaiso High School,” said Mei.
Mei is in a unique position to speak to current and future PNC students – she’s both a PNC alumnus and current student.
“My advice is to go and join clubs, have fun while study hard at PNC and gain a unique college experience.”