No Place Like Home

In November 2010, I flew back to Minnesota for a little over a week. The main purpose of the trek was to take the GMAT and GRE, which I needed in order to apply to the MBA and MPP program at the University of Minnesota.  I had tried to take the tests in China, but I discovered too late  that the test taking systems in Asia are much more limited given rampant and systemic cheating.  That meant my only option was to fly home to take them.

My time was spent mostly on academic pursuits.  I studied hard for and took both tests in the same week.  Then I arranged campus visits and meetings with professors in both Carlson and Humphrey.  I also liaised with some colleagues who agreed to write recommendations for me.  I was grateful that all of the pieces fell into place.

Family pheasant hunting trip. Not in China anymore.

Mike's first bird.

The trip also provided a great opportunity to visit home for the first time in nearly a year and a half.  I saw family and ate American.  I even went on a family hunting trip, which really highlighted a major difference between the US and China.  Tian was jealous of me for getting to eat Chipotle and my mom’s famous wild rice salad.

Tian hates this picture.

Wild rice salad. Oh how I missed you.

Even though the trip was just a week, it was a defining event for the fall.  I spent a lot of time preparing for the tests in October, and in December, I had to make up the entire week’s worth of classes.  All in all, everything went great though.  Applications were finished well and on time, test results were strong, and I got a nice time with family.

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