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First-year Gabelli student driven to succeed

Undergraduate | Sep 01, 2016 |
Wei Huang, BS '20

Wei Huang, BS ’20

Wei Huang, BS ’20, is used to hard work.

She has been pushing herself ever since she and her mother moved to the United States from China more than a decade ago, “so I could have a better education.” Huang made good on that goal, becoming the valedictorian of her high school in upstate Richfield Springs, New York.

That doesn’t mean it was an easy transition for Huang, who is now 18 years old.

“When I first came here, I didn’t know any English,” she recalled. “The only word I knew was ‘hi.’ I was behind everybody else in my class, so I had to work twice as hard to catch up . I studied English every single day after school, before school, in any free time I had.”

When Huang was in fifth grade, she won her first award in school.

“It was special to me,” Huang said. “I’ve worked very hard since then to get on the principal’s list, to get a higher average every single quarter, and that’s how I became the valedictorian.”

Becoming the top student in her class was important to her, a payback to her mother who moved her halfway around the world for a chance at success.

“She doesn’t expect anything of me,” Huang said of her mother. “I just wanted to work hard to make her proud.”

Now she is ready to take on New York City as a freshman in the Gabelli School’s undergraduate global business program at Lincoln Center. There is a story behind that decision, too.

“Ever since I was small, I’ve loved to travel,” Huang said. “I’ve been to about 16 different cities around the world. I wanted to be a tour guide, but my mom wouldn’t let me.”

With a lot of family members in business, Huang compromised.

“I decided to do global business so I can travel and do business at the same time,” she said.

A high school guidance counselor encouraged her to consider Fordham, believing she had the ability to succeed in the city. Huang is looking forward to taking advantage of internships and pursuing a career in international business development.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I’m going to work hard and become something.”

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