Ruixia Zheng ’21 MBA, ’22 M.S.: International Student Grateful for Support of Whitman Community While Earning MBA and Master’s in Business Analytics

The determination of Ruixia Zheng ’21 MBA, ’22 M.S., took her from a self-described “small and remote town in China” across the world to Syracuse University’s Whitman School. There, she earned not one but two master’s degrees, while at the same time welcoming her first child and navigating the challenges of the pandemic.

After working as an actuarial consultant at PwC in Beijing for three years, she decided she wanted to pursue an MBA. She already had a bachelor’s degree in software engineering and a master’s degree in actuarial science from Nankai University, but she was looking to expand her skill set. Zheng had taken some part-time courses at the University, so Whitman was her first choice when she decided to make the commitment to full-time study.

“I was super impressed by how the professors lead students to think and explore the logic and knowledge in the textbooks by first discussing practical issues and real life examples,” she says. “What we learned were not just formulas or rules but how to apply them in our real-life decisions in the workplace.” 

When Zheng relocated to Syracuse University, she was not only starting a new chapter in her education but also expecting her first child. She recalls the great support the department, professors and classmates gave her during this time, even planning a surprise baby shower for her. 

“I was so moved and grateful for this wonderful experience,” she says of the way her new Whitman family embraced her.

After her daughter arrived, the pandemic hit, and she finished her MBA remotely while taking care of a newborn. “It was a very hard time, but I managed to graduate. I want my daughter to fight for her dreams when she grows up, just like I did,” she explains.

Zheng’s dreams continued at the Whitman School, as she decided to pursue yet another degree in business analytics. “I wanted to promote my tech skills in data science and analytics,” she explains. “The knowledge I learned through both my MBA and my master’s degree in business analytics has really helped me in pursuing my goal of working in quantitative risk management. It not only relates to my previous career experience, but the new skills I’ve learn at the Whitman School have only enhanced that.”

Since graduating last year, Zheng remains in the U.S. and has been working remotely as a part-time risk analyst intern at Joblogic-X, a company that specializes in marketing solutions, trade services and staffing/consulting.

“The knowledge of business administration, finance and business analytics, along with the teamwork opportunities, the support of my professors and classmates — and also the soft skills related to business — have made this such a valuable experience for me,” she says. “I am so lucky to have been part of the Whitman School.”