In a classroom of over thirty people, Weijie Gao, on occasion would ask his environmental science professor for help. However he would get the same response of, “ask your group members for help,” when searching for the answer. Even when Gao would get rejected multiple times, he was still determined to find the right solution. Whether it be to a science problem or to making life decisions, he would ensure he found what he was looking for.

Gao is an international student from China who is studying business here at PCC.

“Around forty years old, I wanna be an entrepreneur like my uncle, or to be powerful and successful in my own business,” he said.

For Gao, education is powerful and can open the door to many opportunities for his future even if that meant going against his parents wishes of coming to the United States to pursue it.

“My parents did not want me to stay here to get an education, instead they wanted me to go back to do manufacturing business with them in China but I’m the total opposite of them,” he explained.

According to Gao, his mother insisted that a college education is not useful for the real business world, and that he needed more experience. However, that never stopped him from applying to PCC.

“I think I have much clearer goals than most people because I’m much older than many students who just follow what their parents want,” he continued. “I’m different because my parents didn’t want me to study here but I knew education is really important because it will allow me to get a bachelor’s degree.”

Gao knew applying to PCC would be the right step for his future but did not realize how homesick he could be from time to time.

“I miss the atmosphere of being home because I don’t have any relatives in California, or in the United States, so i’m here alone,” he said. “When I stay at home, especially when I listen to old music I miss my friends.”

After PCC, Gao hopes to transfer to a university, and then leap into management or business school. Once he finishes up school here in the United States, he wants to go back to China to start his own business.

Gao came here with a goal in mind of wanting to fulfil his dream of being in business management however in order to do so he had to break his parent’s wishes of him staying home.

“Many international students who come here are very young, and they don’t really know what they want or what kind of person they wanna be,” Gao stated. “And their parents just allow them to come here.”

Gao advises international students to come with a purpose for themselves, and not just to follow into the footsteps their parents have laid out for them.

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