• Hometown: Jiaxing, China
  • Major: Economics
  • Most Interesting Project: Researching gentrification in the Bay Area

Stacy learned about Mills from an alumna, who was part of her host family in Minnesota. After hearing her praise the College’s small, supportive community, Stacy was intrigued. At Mills, Stacy has thrived on the personal attention she receives from professors—developing connections that extend beyond the classroom, including one that led to her dream job.

What is your major and why are you passionate about it? I’m majoring in economics because I want to understand the language of finance. I love numbers and discovered I liked accounting after taking my first accounting class with a very encouraging Mills professor.

How has Mills helped you grow academically? My first year at Mills was only my second year in the United States—everything was new to me. I didn’t know how college worked in the States, and I didn’t have parents to guide me like the American students. Thanks to the small class sizes, I’ve received a lot of personal attention, and more importantly, I’ve gotten to actually know my professors. We’ve developed a deep trust where I feel comfortable asking academic questions, career questions, and even questions about big life choices.

Tell us about a hands-on project you’ve done for a class. I did a research project about gentrification in the Bay Area. I enjoyed it because it gave me an opportunity to learn more about the history of this region, and it made the area feel more like home. After this project, I realized how deeply I care about the Bay Area.

How did you get your current internship, and how did it lead to a full-time job? I’ve had three internships while in college. One of my Mills professors helped me get an internship at a top-rated certified public accountant firm in San Francisco. I was so excited when the firm offered me a full-time job after I graduate!

How will you use your education to change your life? Growing up in China I felt bad that I was a girl. I didn’t have as much freedom as the boys. It seemed unfair, and made me feel weak, helpless, and angry. My mind completely changed after I went to Mills. My education here has made me very proud of being a woman. I realized that instead of being upset about my childhood, I should be brave—a woman who makes changes and supports the women around her.

What would you tell future international students about coming to Mills? International students will never get lost at Mills—the community here is always willing to help. Also, Mills is not far away from Oakland Chinatown—authentic food at a good price. The Bay Area is a very diverse place where I am sure anyone of any country could find a taste of their hometown!