University of Delaware alumna Wenqing “Wennie” Xu is an assistant professor and consumer food safety specialist in Louisiana State University’s College of Agriculture. Xu, who graduated from UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources with a doctorate in Animal and Food Sciences in 2014, is currently an MBA candidate in UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. She plans to graduate in 2021 and shared her experience in choosing her Lerner graduate programs and how it has impacted her both personally and professionally.
Lerner: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Xu: I always enjoy systematic learning and love continuing my education. I received my Ph.D. from UD and I had a great experience. So, naturally, I came back for another degree at UD.
P.S. I’m a Blue Hen for life!
Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Xu: Valuable resources from the fabulous Lerner business community
Lerner: Please share an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career.
Xu: Too many examples. I have applied what I learned in Dr. Jack Baroudi’s leadership class (BUEC 601 – Building Emotional Intelligence and Critical Thinking) in my current job. I have used Dr. Fei Xie’s class concepts for my personal finance.
Lerner: Describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program.
Xu: I have made various valuable connections with my professors at Lerner. After an operations management class with Dr. Darwin Davis, I reached out to pick his brain when I was writing a grant proposal to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). We were not funded but we were one of the two finalists.
Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be and why?
Xu: Awesome! I enjoyed the networking and interactions with my classmates.
Lerner: How do you balance your career with your studies?
Xu: I don’t sleep much. 🙂
Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Xu: A better professor, a better consultant to local businesses and a more well rounded person.
Lerner: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Xu: I enjoyed the case studies in Dr. Katalyn Takacs Haynes’ international marketing class.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Xu: In 2021? Get married, get tenure, get my MBA and get busy!