Shiya, tell us about yourself?
I come from China and I am an incoming full-time MBA student at Rice Business. Prior to my MBA, I have been working in the field of branding and public relations for over 5 years. Currently I am working in the marketing and communications department of an insurance company, developing the company brand image and advertising strategy. In my spare time, I enjoy singing and cooking.
What motivated you to undertake an MBA in the U.S.?
I always planned to pursue an MBA in America later in life. America is home to numerous top schools and companies and attracts the best talent around the world. It’s no doubt that the U.S is a place to expand one’s horizons. I believe that there is no better place than the U.S to purse an MBA since I really want to develop my knowledge as well as understandings about business and learn from peers from different backgrounds and cultures.
What did you like most about the Rice-Business MBA?
One of the things that I like most about Rice Business is that it allows students to gain practical insights on how to succeed in business by offering significant experiential learning opportunities. I am looking forward to the global opportunities at Rice which is a key objective for my MBA education. The global field experience at Rice would offer me an experiential learning opportunity to immerse myself in different business environments. More importantly, the community at Rice is very warm and engaging, and I knew that this was the type of environment that I could grow best in. I hope to engage with students from across the world in a global setting at Rice which would be essential for me to develop a global mindset.
How did your B-Speak! lessons help you build confidence as you prepare to start your MBA?
B-Speak! lessons really helped me elevate my overall English communication skills. The one-on-one sessions also helped me enhance my enunciation, intonation, listening skills, and understating of common American phrases. The initial assessment by my coach, Leslie, helped me identify weak areas so that I could work on them and be clearly understood by my professors and peers.
How are your B-Speak! lessons helping you build confidence as you prepare to start your MBA?
Honestly I had been in different English training classes since I was a kid. I used to focus more on how to pass my English exams and seldom pay much attention on communication. Therefore, I avoided to speak English in public just because I didn’t know how to express myself and I thought my grammar was poor.
I was worried if I could get myself accustomed to living in the U.S. However, it is B-Speak! that really helped me improve my overall English communication skills and build my confidence to start my MBA journey. I was deeply impressed by the initial assessment. It was not a test and I didn’t have to worry about making mistakes. In fact, my coach, Laura, helped me identify my strengths as well as weak areas and develop my personal learning plan. I worked on my pronunciation, small talk, idioms and reading methods, all of which I have never had to deal with before. Through these one-on-one sessions, I not only learned English communication skills, but also enhanced my understandings of American culture. More importantly, Laura always encouraged me to express myself and often if I misunderstand something, I can go to her for easy clarification. I became more interested in learning English and now I can answer questions with several complete sentences instead of one or two words. I can also express and defend my opinions with more confidence when communicating with native speakers.
I’m so glad to have B-Speak! which helped me to be ready for the next challenges in my life!
How would you describe B-Speak! to a friend?
I used to be constantly asked how to learn English by some of my friends and now I can introduce B-Speak! to them. I would say it’s more than a course to teach you basic skills on how to pronounce and speak English. It helps you to identify where you can improve and make a personalized study plan for you. You will have personal one-on-one coaching and in this way, you can overall improve your communication skills and really see your progress every time you finish your lesson.
Besides, teachers in B-Speak! are professional and have much experience in teaching English as a second language. Learning English in B-Speak! is a process of interaction between teaching and learning but not a task of mere input. They will help you discover your own strengths and weaknesses and work together to practice more. They will never laugh at you when you make mistakes and always encourage you to speak with more confidence. In B-Speak!, you’ll find the interest in learning English and enhance your comprehension abilities to read, speak and write.
What are you most looking forward to experiencing in Houston and at Rice?
I’m looking forward to experiencing different cultures and food in Houston since it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S. and I heard there is a very great China Town. I'm also a big fan of museums and I cannot wait to visit different museums in Houston.
I understand that Rice has a large number of alumni in the consulting industry with whom I am keen on connecting with. I am eager to join the Consulting Association where I could find peer students with similar career interests to pursue the goals together.