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MBA Student Spotlight: Xiaoyu Song (China)

Aug 18, 2023

Xiaoyu Song - China 

Rice Full-Time MBA '25


Q&A with B-Speak! Director Christina Ball 


Xiaoyu, tell us a little about yourself! Where are you from and what are your professional goals and other interests?

I’m from Beijing, China. I worked as a Senior Accountant at Big 4 before I decided to pursue my MBA at Rice. I currently have no specific goal after graduation but willing to take a shot in consulting.

What motivated or inspired you to undertake an MBA in the U.S.? What attracted you most to the program at Rice?

After few years working as an auditor, I started to feel being stuck in the bottom. I really want to give myself more choices and possibilities. At the meantime, I’m eager to explore the world and get to know and learn from different cultures and experiences. An MBA program can indeed give me fantastic opportunities to do that.

As for Rice, the small class size, the concentration and the location really attracted me. From my past academic and work experience, I knew how important a tight-knit community is and I really enjoy having close connections and strong collaboration with my classmates. The Concentration enables me to select paths that I’m interested in and find the most suitable combo. Meanwhile, Houston is one of the largest and most diverse cities in the US, I always think embrace diversity means less discrimination. I believe live in Houston will create a comfortable environment that make me feel like at home and I can seek for more opportunities.

What prompted you to sign up for B-Speak! English coaching? What are your biggest communication challenges?

Rice provided the opportunity to enhance my communication skills before I really started the program, which it’s really helpful. Sometimes I felt hard to express my meaning by using the right expression and how to sound more like native speaker.

How are your coaching sessions with Rebecca helping you in your Rice MBA program and beyond (i.e., internship interviews)?

It’s really impressive and helpful! I told Rebecca my concerns regarding future interviews and networking activities and she tailored my courses based on my need and helped me enhance my skills in so many aspects! We always had small talk at the beginning of each class and she encouraged me to be more confident while speaking, which, from my perspective, is the key point.

What do you enjoy most about your B-Speak! sessions?

Rebecca taught me many things about networking, social, interview, etc. She helped me make my answers more concise and coached me how to make my pronunciation, writing, language correct. We are more like friends and I really enjoy having classes with Rebecca!

How would you describe B-Speak! to a friend or fellow international student or professional?

I would say that I think B-Speak is a great program. You can tailor your courses with your coach and work on your shortcoming. The program can help you be more well-prepared before coming to school or get improvements during your time at school. Great choice for remedying English skills.


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